One of the biggest decisions the New York Jets have to make this offseason involves the future of wide receiver Braxton Berrios.
The talented 26-year-old originally entered the league as a sixth-round draft choice by the New England Patriots. In his lone season with the Pats, he won a Super Bowl championship as a reserve player, but was cut the next offseason.
The Jets decided to take a flier on him off of waivers and the rest is history.
After showing some moments of brilliance, Berrios evolved into a dynamic and versatile offensive weapon for the green and white this season. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time with the former Miami product set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
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Some Very Worrying Comments Were Revealed
Berrios was on the Pardon My Take podcast and went through a variety of topics, but none more interesting than his pending free agency status.
He confirmed that they have started contract negotiations with the Jets, which was reported a few weeks ago by uStadium.
The complicated discussion is how much money should he command?
According to Spotrac’s market value (a projection of what a player is worth), he is expected to receive a four-year deal for $23 million this offseason. That would pay him $5.9 million per season and that would rank 38th among all wide receivers in the NFL.
That seems about right, but it is hard to compare him to anyone because he does so many different things with the Jets:
- 89 receptions
- 940 yards
- 7 rushing, receiving touchdowns
On top of his ability on the offensive side of the ball, Berrios has also proven to be a dynamic return man.
While he didn’t earn a Pro Bowl nomination, Berrios was selected as a first-team All-Pro as a kick returner.
Ironically enough Berrios said the most influential player that he watched growing up was star returner, Devin Hester on the Pardon My Take podcast:
“It is kind of funny because I have never really been a kick returner for a whole season until this year and you know obviously I was an All-Pro.”
Later in the interview, Berrios said, “it’s amazing what that designation changes” talking about his pending free agency and the likely extra money that’ll bring in during negotiations.
Then at the end of the conversation things got pretty cryptic when he was asked direct questions about returning to the Jets.
Q: If you love the Jets so much why don’t you announce that you’re re-signing with them right now?
A: “Well you know there are two sides.”
Q: Well you could say right now I’ll do everything in my power, I’ll take a pay cut to be a New York Jet?”
A: “We’ll see what happens.”
A Question to a Question
Head coach Robert Saleh said very early on in the process that he wants to make life as miserable as possible for general manager Joe Douglas.
In other words, they want to coach players up and have them play exceptionally well so JD will have tougher decisions on trying to decide who stays and who goes.
Berrios is a unique weapon and has a very niche impact on the Jets that is hard to quantify. Is he just a return guy? Is he the starting slot receiver? Or is he just a role player?
Whether or not Berrios is a member of the Jets next year, might just depend on how the Jets view him.
Jamison Crowder is set to be a free agent himself this offseason and naturally, it would make sense for the Jets to plug-and-play a cheaper alternative in Berrios at the position and try to get similar production.
Connor Hughes of The Athletic said the Jets keeping Berrios is “a priority” if the price is right. They are willing to pay $5 to $6 million annually, per Hughes, but if another team throws starting wide receiver money at him that’ll “price-out” the green and white.
After listening to this full conversation though, it seems like Berrios is very much interested in testing the open waters.
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