Neville Hewitt #46 and Marcus Maye #20 of the New...

Neville Hewitt #46 and Marcus Maye #20 of the New York Jets kneel on the end zone grass before the game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on October 25, 2020. Credit: Getty Images/Elsa

The Jets are losing games and starting players, but they’re gaining draft picks.

General manager Joe Douglas has been busy dealing players on expiring contracts for draft capital. More moves could be coming before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline. The message is very clear: the Jets are looking to the future, knowing this season is officially lost.

"I never look at waving the white flag. That’s not my DNA," coach Adam Gase said on Monday. "This is our profession. When things like this happen, guys aren’t ever going to be shocked by this. We’re in a profession of we got to win games. When we don’t, things change and younger guys get opportunities to play. That’s what the NFL is. This is not unique."

The Jets (0-8) are the only winless team in the NFL. Douglas needs to secure as many assets as possible to be in position to make the moves that help turn this hapless team into one that can compete for the playoffs.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets decided to trade Jordan Jenkins, Marcus Maye or Brian Poole, among others. They’re all in the last years of their deals and have some value around the league.

The more draft picks, the better for Douglas.

In the last 15 days, the Jets have traded three veteran defensive players, including two starters. Inside linebacker Avery Williamson was the latest to be dealt.

The Jets agreed to send Williamson and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Steelers for a 2022 fifth-rounder. Douglas also traded former captain Steve McLendon to Tampa and linebacker Jordan Willis to San Francisco. In both trades, the Jets got back a 2022 sixth-round draft choice.

"Each one’s a different story," Gase said. "There’s reasons behind every move that we make. I feel like this was something where an opportunity presented itself. With how we’ve accumulated picks for the next few drafts, we haven’t won a game yet. When we have guys that other teams see value in and we’re able to get draft picks due to it, I know it’s not always ideal. That’s the NFL.

"That’s part of what happens when you don’t win. It’d be a different story if we had more wins then something like that probably doesn’t happen. We’re at the part of the season where we haven’t won a game yet. Things like this happen."

The remaining Jets, at least the ones who were on the conference call Monday, didn’t seem overly bothered by what’s happening around them or concerned about their future. They may be just numb from all the losing.

"I know Joe D and the guys upstairs and Adam are doing their best to put this team in the best position possible to win games," quarterback Sam Darnold said. "I truly believe that. They’re doing their best to do that, and we trust them with it."

Maye, a defensive captain for the first time, said he hasn’t heard any trade rumblings involving him.

"I’m just going about my day as I normally do," Maye said. "I can just hope for the best. It’s nothing that I can control. I’ll just be prepared for whatever."

To Douglas’ credit, he’s sending these players to far better places. Williamson went from the only winless team to the only undefeated team. Jenkins said he hasn’t thought about that and is just focused on doing his job.

"I really don’t try and think about it that much," he said. "I guess I have to say I don’t really put that to mind."

Injury updates

Quinnen Williams, who left Sunday’s game with a hamstring issue, could miss some practice time this week. Gase is unsure if Williams will play Monday against New England . . . Breshad Perriman (concussion) might practice later in the week. The same goes for Jamison Crowder, who missed the last two games with a groin injury.

Draft Capital

Jets GM Joe Douglas has acquired the following draft picks in trades of Jamal Adams, Jordan Willis, Steve McLendon and Avery Williamson this season:

2021: First round, third round

2022: First round, fifth round, two in sixth round

In those deals, Douglas has given up:

2021: Seventh round

2022: Fourth round, seventh round

2023: Seventh round

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