When the New York Jets met with free agent quarterback Derek Carr last week, one would assume the topic of the weapons he’d have to work with came up at some point. And while the Jets could casually mention wide receiver Garrett Wilson recently winning rookie of the year, there at still lingering question with the rest of the group.
While Jets may or may not make some moves at running back, the potential for some shuffling at wide receiver is far greater and involves more prominent names.
Wilson is the lock to return as the team’s number one receiver, but it would be foolish to ignore the the concerns surrounding the other pass catchers set to return in 2023. A quick look at each player and key issues with each explains.
Corey Davis: There appears to be a segment of the fan base that assumes Davis and his $11 million salary will be purged but that should be far from a lock. Given the way the receiver market has exploded in recent years, Davis’ price tag is a relative bargain. The money saved by cutting Davis would only be a portion of what the team would have to spend to import an equal (or possibly lesser) option. Davis’ drops have been overblown by many but his durability is a legitimate concern. Even with that being the case, cutting Davis is far from the “lock” that many believe.
Elijah Moore: Moore famously let it be known that he was ready to move on from Gang Green when he wasn’t seeing enough targets on offense during the ’22 season. The Jets didn’t accommodate Moore in-season, but his demand clearly runs counter to the culture that head coach Robert Saleh is trying to establish. Having spent an entire pre-season stressing the importance of maintaining a positive attitude through adversity, Moore chose to publicly throw cold water on the “positive vibes only” talk from Saleh. And while Moore’s production has been less than impressive, spending any time watching game film over the past two seasons shows it’s not for lack of creating separation and getting open. Will that be enough to encourage some clubs from calling to offer a trade?
Watch Elijah Moore (inside slot left) work against fellow rookie Jaycee Horn in man-to-man coverage. Inside release, head nod at top of the route, and easy separation over the middle. Zach Wilson needs to trust his WRs to win, not a 50/50 ball to Ty Johnson. #Jets #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/XoikXTG9bz
— Dylan Tereman (@DTereman) September 14, 2021
Braxton Berrios: Following a solid 2021 season, the Jets re-signed Berrios who will carry a 2023 cap hit of $8.2 million this year. After a significant dip in performance as both a receiver and punt returner, the chance to save $5 million against the cap could make Berrios the most likely to be sent packing this offseason.
Even if the Jets opt to retain Davis, he only has one year left on his contract and the Jets are without a proven big man at receiver. While offensive tackle in round 1 feels like a certainty, if there’s a run on tackles early on, does Douglas pivot to wide receiver and snag a tackle with his second selection?
Lots of decisions for Douglas in the coming weeks and months.