Trade: Jets dealing a 2020 6th-round pick to the Colts for CB Nate Hairston, per source. Hairston started 11 games the past two years. Still has two years left on his contract.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2019
This comes as little surprise, as the apparent depth at defensive back made Hairston somewhat expendable this season.
In his rookie year, Hairston was a bit of a surprise, as a player who transitioned from wide receiver to defensive back in college, and was seen as something of a project when he was drafted. Hairston quickly put those assumptions aside, however, and turned in a respectable effort (35 tackles, 9 assists, 2 sacks and an INT) playing primarily at slot corner. His second year in the league wasn’t quite at the same level, however, as former UDFA Kenny Moore II was brought in and took over the slot position. As Moore became a star, Hairson saw the field less and less, and it soon became apparent that his time in Indianapolis was likely limited.
Readers may recall that last year’s trade with New York paid big dividends for both teams, allowing the Jets to select the QB they desperately needed in Sam Darnold, and the Colts got lots of draft capital and were still able to select all-world offensive guard Quenton Nelson.
This would appear to be another instance of a “win-win” for both teams, as Hairston was unlikely to see much playing time in Indy, but likely will start or at least be a primary backup in New York. The Colts will get another opportunity for GM Chris Ballard to turn a late-round pick into yet another contributor to a solid roster.