The 2013 New York Jets came into the offseason with a number of questions surrounding their offensive skill positions. Second-year wide receiver Stephen Hill was squarely in the spotlight as he would have to improve over an inconsistent rookie season (21 REC, 252 YDS, 3 TD) filled with injuries and too many dropped passes.
Hill put himself on team’s radars with his tremendous physical attributes (6’4”, 215) along with posting an impressive 4.36 forty-yard dash time during the NFL scouting combine. The downside was coming out of Georgia Tech’s triple option offense Hill caught only 49 passes during his collegiate career.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum traded up in the second round of the 2012 draft taking Hill with the 43rd overall pick. The Jets decided the raw potential and upside of Hill outweighed the lack of being a polished receiver coming into the NFL.
After the Jets recent game against the New England Patriots the team’s receiver problems were on display as dropped passes dominated the game. Hill didn’t help himself with a terrible fumble and overall inconsistent play.
It is clear the Jets will be having a makeover at wide receiver heading into the 2014 season. New general manager John Idzik has a competition, your job is never safe, mantra and will have the resources heading into next season to bring in viable options to those on the current roster.
Given this new philosophy Stephen Hill could certainly become expendable not only from a productivity stand point but from a financial one as well. Hill will count approximately $1.3 million if he is on the Jets next year but if released the team takes a cap hit of $930,000, so his contract does not deter the team from releasing him.
The Jets will make bringing in playmaking receivers a priority with no current player being untouchable. If Stephen Hill does not progress and start living up to the potential which got him drafted there is a good possibility this is his last year in the green and white.