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The New York Jets have traded for cornerback Nate Hairston and the third-year player offers upside in potentially answering depth issues in the secondary.

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New York Jets: Nate Hairston trade a low-risk swing to help secondary

by Cody Williams2 hours ago Follow @TheSizzle20

The New York Jets have traded for cornerback Nate Hairston and the third-year player offers upside in potentially answering depth issues in the secondary.

Throughout the New York Jets preseason, Sam Darnold and the offense have thrived under new head coach Adam Gase. Meanwhile, the defense has flashed as well, but new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ unit has had their shortcomings, particularly in the secondary.

After prized 2018 free-agent acquisition Trumaine Johnson struggled in his first year with Gang Green, the rest of the cornerback group hasn’t totally impressed. Sure, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are strong commodities at safety but the group of corners has left a lot to be desired.

The Jets made a move to address that on Wednesday, making a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Sending a sixth-round pick to Indy, the Jets will get third-year cornerback Nate Hairston in return.

News of the deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Adam Schefter✔@AdamSchefter

Trade: Jets dealing a 2020 6th-round pick to the Colts for CB Nate Hairston, per source. Hairston started 11 games the past two years. Still has two years left on his contract.

A fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft by the Colts, Hairston has seen his share of ups and downs on the field for Indianapolis. Last season, his overall grade according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required) was a quite poor 51.6. However, he was more inconsistent than just downright bad throughout the year.

And really, that’s the issue with the Jets secondary as a whole, with and without Hairston. Johnson showed flashes but didn’t play as an elite corner throughout his first year with the Jets. Darryl Roberts fits the same bill, as does Brian Poole. And second-year player Parry Nickerson has upside but is far from proven at this point.

That, however, is what makes this move a good one for the Jets. When you have consistency questions in the secondary, having a deeper group of players that possess both upside and quality in lieu of consistency is critical. It’s another dart throw in the position group to try and make sure the unit as a whole can succeed.

Even better, Gang Green didn’t give up a lot to add Hairston to the mix. Not only is it just a 2020 sixth-rounder they sent to the Colts but the Jets also had two picks in that round to work with. Thus, they aren’t forfeiting that much to add a young player that has potential to their defense.

Make no mistake, trading for Nate Hairston isn’t a game-changer for the Jets. However, it does improve their chances of having quality play in the secondary with little risk tied to the move. That’s how smart teams operate late in the preseason and the Jets are quietly making smart moves to try and make a leap.

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