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NFL Trade Rumors: Jets eying AJ McCarron, may deal Sheldon Richardson

Could the Jets and Bengals strike a blockbuster trade?

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL free agency now open, many teams are still searching for their next starting quarterback.

The Jets figure to be among them after letting Ryan Fitzpatrick go this offseason. All the Jets have now is Bryce Petty who has shown nothing to make New York believe he’s ready to be anything more than a decent backup in the NFL.

Even though the Jets spent a second-round pick on Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg last year, all indications are he’s a mess with little-to-no starting potential.

That’s why the Jets are a team to watch for in the AJ McCarron sweepstakes. According to David Wyatt of Gang Green Nation, the Jets are not only interested in McCarron, but could be working on a trade that involves Sheldon Richardson landing with the Bengals.

Wyatt also spoke with an NFL scout that said the Jets are interested in McCarron. That’s expected since New York is likely interested in most quarterbacks that are either free agents or trade bait, but McCarron is quickly rising to the top of their big board.

Mike Glennon is likely signing with the Bears. Jimmy Garoppolo may or may not be traded, but it’s unlikely the Patriots deal him to a division rival. Tony Romo is likely signing with the Texans or Broncos. The Bills are keeping Tyrod Taylor, so he won’t be on the market for New York to pursue.

After them, McCarron is easily the best guy for the Jets to go after. It probably would cost them their second-round pick, the 39th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, it sounds like they want to unload Richardson, who has just one year left on his rookie deal after being the 13th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

But the Jets have Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams under contract beyond 2017 along their 3-4 defensive line. Richardson actually played some linebacker this past season, a role he did alright in, but he’s a defensive lineman in a defense that is stacked there.

That’s why a team like the Bengals would probably love to have him, especially with Domata Peko hitting free agency and Andrew Billings missing all of his rookie season with a knee injury.

If this deal were to go down, it likely wouldn’t be much more than McCarron for Richardson straight up. Richardson has as much trade value as McCarron, if not more, but because McCarron could be a restricted free agent next year, he may have slightly more value.