Adam Gase said trading veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon wasn’t the start of a Jets’ fire sale.
"We just felt it was the right thing to do," Gase said.
McLendon, 34, was sent to Tampa with a 2023 seventh-round pick for a 2022 sixth rounder. News of the trade broke not long after the Jets lost, 24-0, to Miami and fell to 0-6. McLendon played 24 defensive snaps in the game.
Earlier in the week, the Jets waived Le’Veon Bell. It appears they’re looking to the future. But Gase said this was an opportunity for McLendon, a captain, to go play for a contender.
"It was something that evolved over the weekend," Gase said. "We talked with him. It was an opportunity for him to go compete at a place that’s challenging to get in the playoffs.
"He's put so much into this team and he was a great leader for us. It does give our young guys more opportunities. But it was one of those things that both sides thought it was the best thing to do."
Third-year tackle Folorunso Fatukasi will get more of an opportunity now. On the other side of the ball, rookie La’Mical Perine was expected to be featured Sunday with Bell gone. But 37-year-old Frank Gore got 15 touches while Perine had 9.
Right guard Greg Van Roten said he wasn’t concerned that the Jets are waving the white flag on the season. He said the players need to just focus on doing their jobs.
"You’re always being evaluated whether it’s by your staff or other staffs," Van Roten said. "You have to put good things on tape. If you’re worried about next year, shame on us because we have a job to do as players.
"This is our job. We need to do that to the best of our ability to keep your job. You don’t want to be on the outside looking in next week or next year."
Rookie receiver Denzel Mims has a chance to take part in team drills this week and could be in line to play his first NFL game Sunday. Mims, who has been on IR with injuries to both hamstrings, returned to practice last week, and worked with the scout team.
"We’re going to keep increasing his reps, just kind of see how fast we can get him involved in this," Gase said. "We’ll see how he is this week and see if we can get him some actual team periods just not scout team. Hopefully we can open up that door."
Throw it away Joe
Joe Flacco acknowledged he should have thrown the ball away rather than take a 28-yard sack in the fourth quarter Sunday.
"At that point in the game it was 24-nothing, I’m trying to make a play," Flacco said. "As dumb as it was, I’m not sure that one is going to alter the game that much. I definitely could have got rid of the ball on that one."