Jets trade with Titans for “big” WR

By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets
March 5th, 2003
Jets has earned that the team has made a trade to finally bring them that ‘big” WR they’ve been looking for. Also, The Winfield aftermath: The Jets front office gets another black eye after FA CB Antoine Winfield signs with Minnesota.

First, the good news. Jets has learned and the Tennessean is confirming that the Jets have traded their second round pick (#42) in this year’s draft for Titans WR Justin McCareins.

The 26 year old McCareins (6’ 2”-215) could be that “big” WR that the team has been looking for since Keyshawn Johnson was traded five years ago. Drafted by the Titans in the fourth round of the 2001 draft, McCareins was Tennessee's second-leading receiver last season with 47 receptions for 813 yards and eight touchdowns. He will step in immediately for the soon departing Curtis Conway and gives Chad Pennington that big body to finally throw to.

Now the bad news. Antoine Winfield spurns the Jets and signs with Minnesota.

Winfield had agreed in principle to a 6 year $30MM deal with the Jets last night and was all but signed before a bizarre turn of events struck that could only happen in Hempstead. Apparently at the last minute, Winfield had a change of heart and before the Jets even had a chance to regroup the talented CB was on a private Jet sent by Vikings Coach Mike Tice bound for Minneapolis. Less than 24 hours later, Winfield is a Minnesota Viking and has reportedly signed a deal that is worth $4MM more than the Jets offer. Surely a bitter pill to swallow for Terry Bradway and Co. especially after the horror off-season the team had last year. Even more of a slap in the face is the fact that Winfield will be playing for new Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who the Jets fired in December.

Wait, it gets worse.

While the Jets were wining and dining Winfield, they missed out on negotiating with their reported second choice, Ahmed Plummer who today re-signed with the 49ers. The next best FA on the market is Eagles CB Troy Vincent but both Buffalo and Cincinnati are aggressively courting him.

The Jets must now scramble to find a replacement for Aaron Beasley with the talent pool drying up quickly.

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