Toward the end of the New York Jets regular season, All-Pro returner and trusty slot receiver Braxton Berrios felt like a guarantee to earn an extension before March.
Reports even came out that talks had begun between general manager Joe Douglas and Berrios’ representation. A month and a half later, no progress has been made.
In fact, based on a February 5 article from NYJ beat reporter Brian Costello, things may have taken a step backward. The veteran journalist noted that “there is a good chance that Braxton Berrios and Folorunso Fatukasi will hit the open market.”
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Berrios: ‘Guys, It’s Not All Me … I Would Love to Come Back’
The Jets fan favorite caught up with radio co-hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney on February 16 and he gave supporters plenty of reasons on why he’d prefer to stay put in 2022. Some were subtle and others were blatant but one thing was clear, Berrios wants to be a Jet.
His more direct quotes came when asked about his free-agent status.
“Obviously I want to be here,” Berrios reiterated. “I’ve said it so many different times. I do want to be here. Sadly, this part is now partially business and not just football.”
He continued later: “I don’t think people understand, it’s not all in my control. I don’t dive into much, but I see stuff here and again through social media. And it’s just like ‘Guys, it’s not all me.’ I’ve expressed many, many times that I would love to come back and continue this program building with this team and with this coaching staff… it’s very comfortable. I know everybody in there.”
Those were the obvious answers that Berrios has to give the fanbase but the more telling remarks came when the wide receiver was talking about his coaches and teammates.
“The Jets are heading in the absolute right direction,” he told Tiki & Tierney. “We didn’t have a tremendously better year last year than we did the year before — it just wasn’t like that — but when you go from a player’s perspective that has been in the facility and has been with the coaches and really just the overall feeling and the culture of the team was a complete 180 from the year before.”
Berrios added that “everybody loves” playing for head coach Robert Saleh, touting him as a “phenomenal story-teller” that gets his athletes motivated every week.
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Zach Wilson Stayed With Berrios During Super Bowl Week
The other tidbit from this interview that really intrigued me was the tight relationship between Berrios and quarterback Zach Wilson. We all knew the pair had chemistry on the field but the reliable pass-catcher confirmed that their bond goes deeper than that.
“I’m really good friends with Zach actually,” he began, “[Wilson] came out for Super Bowl week and stayed with me three-four days.”
A recent Instagram post from Wilson showed the Jets QB at an event in California with Berrios, George Kittle, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and the music DJ, Kygo. It was captioned: “Memories money can’t buy.”
Berrios commented on the photo: “Just a bunch of guys being dudes.”
As a quarterback, Berrios praised Wilson for having “all the intangibles, all the off-the-field — who you want as a human being — characteristics, a locker room guy.” The return man continued: “He loves football, he’s not in it for what it brings him, he truly loves the game. He prepares like nobody I’ve ever seen… I think the year one to year two jump is going to be absolutely tremendous with him.”