Colin Kaepernick and his agents requested a trade way back in February, but midway through April, he is still a member of the San Francisco 49ers. There have been several teams linked with Kaepernick, including the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos. However, Cleveland chose to sign Robert Griffin III while Denver has been working hard in an attempt to acquire Kaepernick, but his large salary is holding up any potential deal.
The New York Jets have also been linked with the mobile quarterback, though only because the Jets were rumored to be Kaepernick’s destination of choice when the reports initially surfaced. At the time, New York had still been in negotiations with free agent signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had a career year with the Jets last season. However, with those talks breaking down and New York still without a quarterback, targeting Kaepernick in a blockbuster deal may be their best option.
The Jets’ 26-year old defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. He is currently operating under the franchise tag, counting $15.7 million against the cap and has been involved in several trade rumors. Back in June of 2015, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan had this to say about the pending free agent, “It’s going to be a process. We’re just going to see. I don’t really want to put a timeline on anything. I’m just going to see how this plays out in the near future.”
The future is now, and it is time for the Jets to take action. They have been demanding a large haul if they are to deal Wilkerson, who had a career high 12 sacks last season, including at least one first round pick. Likewise, NFL Insider Ian Rappaport has reported San Francisco is not interested in dealing Kaepernick unless they are “blown away” by an offer.
So, what better teams to make a deal than San Francisco and New York?
While Wilkerson is a tremendous talent, the Jets are still stacked up front with players like Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams, so they could afford the loss if it means returning a potential franchise quarterback to Gang Green. San Francisco, on the other hand, is in full rebuild mode and should look to acquire as many assets as they can. At this point, a defensive stud like Wilkerson has more value to the 49ers than a quarterback surrounded with uncertainty.
A Wilkerson-Kaepernick swap would be a rare win-win trade, and a deal both teams should strongly consider.