Corey Davis’ career in New York didn’t start out as he planned. The Jets awarded the former top-10 selection a $37.5 million contract in free agency and after a few dropped passes and injuries early on, fans quickly turned on the veteran asset.
Now, many are already itching for the Jets to move on from Davis in 2023 — a potential cap savings of $10.5 million according to Over the Cap. Another season like the 2021 campaign and they’ll get their wish.
After being brought in to lead this WR corps out of the abyss, Davis was sucked into it with 492 receiving yards in just nine games played — his lowest receiving total since his rookie year. So long as he can stay healthy in 2022, you have to think he’ll improve on those numbers during his second season but what will it take for general manager Joe Douglas to retain him?
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Davis Drops Weight, ‘Joints Are Thanking Me’
For the first time this training camp period, Davis addressed the media and he had a bit of a surprise reveal for Jets nation. “I actually lost some weight,” he voiced. “I was doing a lot of running this offseason. I did a lot of high-interval training, just trying to get into the best shape that I can.”
He told reporters that he lost somewhere around 10-15 pounds and checked in at 205 pounds upon his arrival at training camp.
This is somewhat reminiscent of C.J. Mosley’s weight loss last summer. On the surface, it almost feels concerning considering Davis’ game is built on physicality and strength.
At the same time, Mike LaFleur’s offensive system relies on agility and lateral movement. If Davis is quicker and more elusive in 2022 — not to mention healthier in terms of conditioning — the overall result of the weight loss should be positive.
“My joints are thanking me,” the 27-year-old joked. “I feel good, man, got to keep it that way.”
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Drops Have Been the Issue
Of course, most fans would probably argue that Davis’ stamina and agility didn’t feel like the major problem when he was on the field — it was the dropped passes.
Pro Football Focus charged the wideout with six drops in nine games. That’s a drop percentage of 15.0% — which ranked fourth-worst in the entire NFL (minimum 20% of snaps played).
The strange part is that Davis has not had this issue throughout his career. His drop grade was a 36.3 on PFF in 2021 and it’s never fallen below 68.0 before that. In fact, the former Titan never registered more than four drops during any season in Tennessee — and he appeared in a lot more games over the years he was there.
Those combined factors yielded a career-high drop percentage of 6.5% (2019) prior to joining the Jets. Needless to say, Davis will try and put this recent trend to bed in 2022 and he’s off to a good start.
Beat reporter Connor Hughes noted that Davis came down with a “50/50 ball” in practice on July 28 after Zach Wilson was under pressure. The elder statesman will look to get some momentum going with youngsters like Garrett Wilson and Denzel Mims nipping at his heels, and a clean slate could be just what the doctor ordered.
Head coach Robert Saleh echoed that during his July 28 press conference: “[Davis is] in such a good mental headspace right now. His body feels good, he feels good and I’m excited for him. Say what you want about his season last year, I think he has got a tremendous mindset to attack this season and try to maximize everything he’s got.”
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