Addressing their most glaring need, the New York Jets have acquired third-year cornerback Nate Hairston from the Indianapolis Colts for a 2020 sixth-round pick, the team confirmed Wednesday.

The draft pick headed to the Colts is the second of the Jets’ sixth-round picks in 2020. The trade is pending a physical, the Jets said.

Hairston, 25, a fifth-round pick from Temple in 2017, will join a cornerback group headed by Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts and Brian Poole. There are no proven players beyond the top three, and Johnson’s status for Week 1 is up in the air because he’s recovering from the hamstring injury.

Hairston was the Colts’ primary slot corner during his rookie season, but struggled in 2018 and was replaced by Kenny Moore. Hairston likely would have been relegated to primarily special teams had he made the Colts’ 53-man roster after Moore became the ’s highest-paid slot during the offseason.

In two seasons, Hairston started 11 games and has one interception. The driving force behind the trade was assistant general manager Rex Hogan, who was hired in June from the Colts’ front office.

GM Joe Douglas, also hired in June, has been aggressive in the preseason. He traded for guard Alex Lewis, coaxed former Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil out of retirement and signed tight end Ryan Griffin.

Speaking to reporters last Saturday, Douglas, “We feel good about our top guys” at cornerback. But there was significant concern about the Jets. In their last preseason game, they started Tevaughn Campbell, who played in the CFL.

’s Mike Wells contributed to this report.


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