Once again, the New York Jets off-season was built around giving quarterback Sam Darnold the tools to succeed. They added multiple offensive linemen in the draft and free agency, as well as a pair of running backs to work alongside Le’Veon Bell. Yet little was done to improve the receiving corps. The team added Breshad Perriman and selected Denzel Mims in the second round of the draft, but lost Robby Anderson to the Carolina Panthers in free agency. Jamison Crowder returns for a second season, while Quincy Enunwa and Joshua Bellamy are already on season-ending injured reserve. This leaves former Washington Redskins first-round pick Josh Doctson, Vyncint Smith, and Braxton Berrios as their primary depth pieces. The Jets need to add another established veteran in their receiving corps in case of injury. Here are a few New York Jets wide receiver options.
2020 New York Jets Wide Receiver Options
Following a breakout campaign in 2017, Paul Richardson signed a five-year and $40-million deal with the Redskins. A deal quickly turned out to be one they would regret. After putting up 48 receptions for 507 yards in 17 games, the Redskins released Richardson after two seasons. The former Seattle Seahawks’ second-round pick dealt with various injuries that limited his availability. Nonetheless, when healthy, Richardson still produced as a solid weapon with a 60.1 percent catch rate. For the Jets, Richardson would bring playoff experience and a valuable backup when healthy.
Plagued by concussions in 2019, the 5’7” and 168 pound Taylor Gabriel has been very productive in his six-year career. Only missing six games prior to 2019, Gabriel averaged 501 yards on just about 40 receptions a season. Given his size and game-breaking speed, Gabriel is best suited in the slot or as a vertical threat on the boundary. Only 29 years old, his versatility would be a nice addition to head coach Adam Gase’s offense.
Just 26-years old, Chester Rogers has provided the Indianapolis Colts just what the Jets need – a reliable depth receiver. In 53 games, the Grambling State product has totaled 1,221 yards and five touchdowns. Rogers also contributed on special teams, specifically as the team’s punt returner. Between his ability on special teams and as a receiver, Rogers can make an impact right away for the Jets.
The most obvious option, Demaryius Thomas hauled in 433 yards in 11 games for Gang Green last season. Injuries have taken a toll on Thomas in recent years, as he has certainly lost a step since being one of the league’s top receivers. Nevertheless, Thomas knows Gase’s system well and has a connection already with Darnold. His special teams days are well behind him, but for the sake of needing a veteran to start in case of injury, Thomas is a perfect fit.
Now 30 years old, Jaron Brown has made his money off of being a solid depth piece who can start when needed. Through seven seasons, he has racked up 18 starts in 101 games between the Arizona Cardinals and Seahawks. The 6’3” and 204 pound Clemson product has good size, and certainly more experience than what the Jets backups currently have. With special team usage taken into consideration, Brown makes another solid option for the Jets.
The Jets brought in veteran Dontrelle Inman last off-season for a visit, knowing his ability as a receiver and special teams player. After 810 yards in 16 starts in 2016 for the Los Angeles Chargers, Inman has not come close to those numbers again. Instead, he has provided a quality possession receiver when starting. He has played for three teams in the past two seasons and will be 31 in 2020. Inman’s age is getting up there and he is not a special teams player, but he certainly can hold his own in the passing game.
Last Word on Remaining New York Jets Wide Receiver Options
With two key veterans already out the season, the New York Jets should take another look at the free-agent wide receiver market. From speed to special teams impact, there certainly are guys who can be day one contributors. But of course, that does not mean they are without any risk. In the end, it comes down to just how much faith the Jets have with the receivers currently on the team.