The San Francisco 49ers have acquired outside linebacker Jordan Willis in a trade with the New York Jets, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. The Jets will receive a 2022 sixth-round pick in exchange for Willis, while also sending out a 2021 seventh-rounder to the Bay Area. Given Willis' production to this point in his career along with the fact that he is in the final year of his rookie deal, it would've been a bit of a surprise if the compensation was anything more substantial than what we have here.
Willis is a former third-round draft choice of the Bengals in 2017 out of Kansas State and was playing his second season with the Jets. Despite a solid draft pedigree, the 25-year-old has yet to really put a dent in his NFL career. He's started in just two of his 42 games played in the league over his first four seasons and totaled 52 tackles, three sacks, and nine quarterback hits. Willis has played in just 11.27% of defensive snaps for the Jets this year.
San Francisco likely views Willis as a depth piece for the rest of the season as the team has been hit with a number of key injuries along its front seven. If the 49ers can tap into his potential and allow him to blossom into something more prominent -- well, the rich will be getting richer on that side of the ball going forward.
As for the Jets, this marks the second trade they've made in the past week. On Sunday, New York made a similar deal with the Buccaneers, sending defensive tackle Steve McLendon to Tampa Bay as the two teams swapped late-round picks. Given that New York is winless on the season and shows no sign of turning it around, there could even be more deals in store for them prior to the Nov. 3 trade deadline.