The tumultuous-at-times relationship between the New York Jets and wide receiver Denzel Mims appears to be heading for divorce.
According to a July 19 report from Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets plan to waive Mims if they cannot find a trade partner. Mims had previously requested a trade, dating back to August 2022, prior to catching 11 passes for 186 yards last season.
Multiple league sources tell Heavy that the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are two teams expressing interest in Mims, especially should he hit the waiver wire.
Mims struggled to find consistent playing time in New York, since being chosen by the Jets No. 59 overall in the 2020 NFL draft. The former Baylor standout has 42 career receptions for 676 yards.
Despite having plenty of explosiveness, and game-breaking speed, Mims never quite reached his potential with the Jets. Chosen by Adam Gase and company, Mims has been buried on the bench since Robert Saleh’s staff took over.
However, given his skill set, Mims could be a breakout star to watch with a change of scenery. Fortunately for Mims, several teams could be looking to add to the position as training camps near.
Here is a look at Mims’ best fits, whether the Jets wind up trading or waiving the 25-year-old wideout:
1) New England Patriots
The Patriots had significant interest in All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins, according to sources, from the moment the Arizona Cardinals released him, so it would make sense that New England would be in the mix for a young receiver such as Mims.
Mims seemingly fits the profile of the Patriots‘ receiving corps, given his ability to stretch the field vertically primarily as a slot receiver. The Patriots also have gotten an up close and personal look at Mims, who has pulled down 10 receptions for 194 yards in five games against the AFC East rival.
2) Philadelphia Eagles
While the Philadelphia Eagles boast one of the most electrifying receiver duos in the sport, in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, depth could prove to be a concern for the reigning NFC Champions.
Not only would Mims push Quez Watkins for the starting slot receiver role, but he would be a potentially significant upgrade over the likes of Olamide Zaccheaus, Devon Allen, and Tyrie Cleveland. The Eagles’ depth receivers have combined to catch only 42 passes for 561 yards and 5 touchdowns in their careers.
3) New York Giants
Wide receiver is a position that the Giants have invested rather significantly in this offseason, in hopes of significantly bolstering quarterback Daniel Jones’ supporting cast.
After signing veteran Parris Campbell, and drafting Jaylin Hyatt in the third round, Mims could be an ideal fit to either push Darius Slayton for playing time or supplant him in Jones’ target hierarchy. It is worth pointing out that the Giants held joint practices with the Jets last summer, during training camp, so general manager Joe Schoen had the opportunity to evaluate him in a way that some executives might not have gotten to see.
4) Chicago Bears
Surrounding Justin Fields with premier weapons has been a two-year rebuilding project for general manager Ryan Poles and the Bears. Perhaps Mims is the next depth piece in Poles’ crosshairs.
Last season, the Bears plucked Chase Claypool in a deadline trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, before dropping dynamic playmaker D.J. Moore into the offense in a blockbuster deal with the Carolina Panthers to move back from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. A change of scenery may be exactly what Mims needs, and he would arrive as the Bears’ No. 4 wide receiver with plenty of upside on the receiving end of Fields’ passes.
5) Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are in the infancy of a rebuild, around newly minted franchise quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young. However, with running back Miles Sanders, receivers D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen, along with tight end Hayden Hurst, there’s some reliable explosiveness in that offense.
If Mims can stay healthy, there’s no reason that he can’t push Terrace Marshall Jr., whose career has gotten off to a disappointing start, for a starting role. At a minimum, Mims is a complementary piece to Chark and Thielen, and there would be far fewer roadblocks to playing time in Charlotte than he faced in New York.