The New York Jets’ anemic receiving corps from a year ago got a healthy boost with the acquisition of Eric Decker from the free agent market. The former Bronco signed a five-year, $36.25 million deal with gang green to help a Jets offense that couldn’t get out of its own way for most of the 2013 season. Decker is the first weapon to join New York this offseason but surely won’t be the last.
In order for Decker to have the type of impact the Jets want, they’ll need to add more pieces regardless of who the quarterback is. Don’t be surprised to see the Jets add another wide receiver in free agency and then go a step further, drafting one in the first round on May 8th at Radio City Music Hall.
One roadblock for New York is the fact that the free agent wide receiver pool is wearing thin. Former Packers wide out James Jones seemed perfect for the team and was reportedly drawing interest from the Jets. Jones is considered to be a reliable receiver, totaling 310 receptions and 37 touchdowns in his seven-year career but he recently expressed interest in playing elsewhere.
At this point we’re in the second wave of free agent wide receivers but it doesn’t mean the Jets should stop looking. They still need to grab someone who can produce and hopefully get a game-changer in the draft.
An option could be Miles Austin, who has battled injuries but for the right price could be worth the risk. He’s been a contributor in the past and we’ve seen changes of scenery propel guys into newly-regained success. Also, the Jets could and should take a flier on Jacoby Ford. The former Raider is a straight burner and regarded as one of the fastest guys in the league. His breakout speed alone mixed with the lack of market for him is worth a look and he would likely come cheap.
There are a few more options as well like Lance Moore, Sidney Rice and Kenny Britt. All are looking for teams as more guys get signed and it’s a bit of a crapshoot as to who ends up where, so nobody really knows who the Jets will grab. We can be sure the Jets have internally spoken about most of the names left on the free agent list, including former Jet Jerricho Cotchery.
Come draft day, the Jets are picking 18th overall. Although the draft’s top two wide outs in Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans will be gone, here are still a couple of potential big-time contributors that will be on the board.
New York has been high on USC’s Marquise Lee and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks. The Jets have met with Lee several times and Jets OC Marty Mornhinweg was at Cooks’ pro day, apparently drooling (metaphorically). They’re both quick and elusive with ability to catch the ball at its highest point, despite the fact that neither of them are a particularly tall receiver. It really looks like one of those PAC-12 speedsters are going to land with Rex Ryan’s club.
Decker was a nice start for gang green, but there is more to come. There needs to be if the Jets are going to flip the script on last season offensively.