Veteran wide receiver Corey Davis is not exactly well-liked by the New York Jets fanbase.
Between his $12.5 million salary, injury issues, and the critical dropped passes and penalties, Davis has drawn the ire of NYJ supporters often during his short tenure that began in 2021.
Recently, a contingent of fans has come to the conclusion that general manager Joe Douglas should trade Davis, freeing up more playing time for the younger Denzel Mims — who is currently wasting away on the weekly inactive list. Unfortunately, long-time beat reporter and team insider Brian Costello doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.
Jets Insider Provides Intel on Corey Davis Trade Rumors
During the latest episode of the New York Post’s “Gang’s All Here” podcast with Costello and Jake Brown, his co-host asked him if there’s any truth to the trade speculation surrounding Davis.
“Not that he’s on the trade block,” Costello responded. “I heard in training camp there was one team that called about him and asked, and the Jets weren’t interested in trading him. I think that’s all it was.”
Costello explained further that the veteran’s contract would limit his value on the NFL trade market, voicing: “He’s getting paid a lot of money, Jake. I’m not sure anyone’s going to take that contract on… so I’d be surprised if someone traded for Corey Davis. If it [happened], it would be somebody who knew him well, had coached him before — I think maybe that would be the only case — but I think it’s unlikely he’ll be traded. Let’s put it that way.”
This piece of trade speculation has always been more fan-driven than anything else, but the knowledge that a team actually called about Davis is news in itself, even if the wideout appears to be staying put for now.
Perhaps an early Davis sell-off isn’t as impossible as it seemed.
Corey Davis Needs to Earn His Keep in 2023
That may not have been the update some readers wanted to hear, but it does leave the trade door slightly ajar as the season goes on. Davis has not performed up to his $13.66 million cap hit, so would any team be willing to give up draft capital to acquire a bad contract?
After all, there are plenty of affordable options out there at wide receiver and most teams will take a flier on one of those before striking a deal for an aging talent with a costly price tag. For example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were desperate at the position last week due to injuries and a suspension and they simply signed long-time slot WR Cole Beasley to the practice squad — elevating him for the Week 3 outing.
The one thing the Jets have going for them with Davis, whether they keep him or shop him as a one-year rental, is his 2023 cap hit. Douglas structured the contract with a clear “out” after year two, and would only forfeit $666,668 by cutting the veteran before June 1.
With Mims still on the roster, many fans feel that the natural progression would be to release Davis and start the former second-rounder in his place in 2023.
As of now, that does appear to be a legitimate option considering how low Mims’ trade value has dropped. Davis isn’t doing himself any favors either.
Outside of the 66-yard touchdown in Cleveland — which one could argue only occurred because the Browns defense thought the game was over — Davis only has nine catches for 121 yards through three outings.
That’s a little over 40 yards per game and 13.4 yards per reception. Even if you include the long touchdown gainer, he’s averaging 62.3 yards per game with a 52.6% catch rate. Davis has been charged with one drop to go along with his one touchdown and two contested catches.
The veteran is no longer the number one pass-catching weapon in this offense. Honestly, he’s probably fallen to fourth or fifth behind Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Tyler Conklin and Breece Hall. And yet, he’s the second-highest paid player on the entire roster in terms of 2022 cap hit.
If Davis wants to finish out his three-year contract in New York, he’s going to have to earn his keep this season and produce at a much higher level than his current numbers. The trade speculation may not be probable but the cut rumors are.