The Jets and Browns made a rare player-for-player trade this morning, with safety Calvin Pryor going to Cleveland and inside linebacker Demario Davis headed back to North Jersey. Because both players are Jets draft busts, this deal feels like a ransom agreement.
Pryor was picked in the 2014 first round, and after a promising 2015, his play regressed badly last year, particularly in coverage. Here he is getting caught on his heels and falling down against the Seahawks:
Pryor’s fate was sealed when the Jets declined his fifth-year option before drafting safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in this year’s first two rounds. Pryor is entering the final year of his rookie deal, which will pay him $1.6 million guaranteed, but according to Adam Schefter, the Jets were ready to cut him if they couldn’t trade him, even though that means a $1.1 million dead money charge. The Jets clearly couldn’t get draft picks in return, so they took back Davis instead, just to get rid of Pryor.
By dealing Pryor, the Jets are somehow left with just three of the 12 players then-GM John Idzik selected in the ’14 draft, which seems impossible. And wideout Quincy Enunwa is the only remaining member of that draft class who regularly sees the field.
Davis, a 2012 third-round pick, spent his first four seasons with the Jets, who then had no intention of bringing him back last year. Davis played 70 percent of the Browns’ defensive snaps last year, but he, too, can be a liability in coverage in a pass-happy league that increasingly requires defenses to deploy linebacker-safety hybrids. Davis is due to earn a non-guaranteed $3.7 million in the final year of his contract this season, and he’s obviously no lock to even make the Jets’ 53-man roster.
No one was injured during the hostage negotiations.