The New York Jets are loaded at wide receiver and upgrading the unit was certainly a point of emphasis this offseason.
General manager Joe Douglas added a bunch of new pieces in the 2021 NFL draft (Elijah Moore) and in free agency (Corey Davis and Keelan Cole), but it was the leftovers in the refrigerator that had fans the most excited.
Physicality, tough catches and high upside were all items to circle on the scorecard. All of those traits had the arrow pointing in the right direction earlier this offseason, but a sense of pessimism has infected his stock recently.
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Denzel Mims on the Move?
An interesting report went viral over the weekend that suggested Mims was on the “roster bubble” and could even be traded this offseason.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk said if Gang Green traded the talented wideout “it certainly wouldn’t be for the second-round pick they originally used to acquire him.” He would go on to say if the former Baylor product doesn’t show more “in a hurry,” the team “may simply be eager to move on” and just release the player outright ahead of final roster cuts.
This report and other negative chatter this offseason stem from some bumps in the road for Mims over the past couple of months.
Mims dealt with a stomach bug during the voluntary portion of training that forced him to miss time. When he returned he wasn’t right and seemed out of rhythm.
Also this offseason, Mims has fallen in the wide receiver rotation to “sixth or seventh,” according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. This had led some to question his future with the team.
Time to Separate Fact From Fiction This Offseason
All of this talk about Mims slipping is completely overblown.
First off, the second-year wideout still has three years remaining on his rookie contract. If the Jets decided to move on by releasing him or trading him away they’d eat a $1.9 million dead hit. That would make absolutely no sense.
There are only two reasons that would force the green and white to make a move of that magnitude this offseason.
One is if somehow they received an offer they absolutely couldn’t refuse (a trade package involving a first-round pick), but that seems unlikely. The other reason a move could make sense is if Mims got involved in some sort of scandal that forced Douglas to make a decision on his future. Since neither of those options is a thing at this point, it’s time to shut down the trade rumors and roster bubble speculation.
Everything we’ve heard thus far is nothing more than conjecture.
Has Mims struggled in parts of this offseason including most recently during Jets training camp? Yes, he has lost reps to other wideouts on the team, but context is always important.
Mims is adjusting to a brand new offensive scheme that he’s unfamiliar with. Additionally, his best strengths (size, 50-50 balls and outside presence) are not a perfect fit in this Mike LaFleur offense.
All of those reasons have resulted in a slow start for the 23-year old, but it’s not over by any means.
There are still three preseason games and an array of joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers to ultimately determine where Mims finishes in the Jets receiving corps pecking order.
This is a super young offensive coaching staff and they’re bringing over a proven offensive system to the Jets. It’s important to remember that great coaches don’t force players to fit in their system, instead, they adapt their offensive philosophies to the talent around them.
Mims may not fit this offense, but you can’t tell me he isn’t a talented player that can make things happen. He’s a unique weapon of mass destruction in this receiving corps that possesses a very special set of skills.
When you’re in the red zone he can dominate in 50-50 ball situations. He’s a mismatch nightmare: too big for smaller cornerbacks and too fast for slow linebackers. If these coaches know what they’re doing, they’ll find a way to maximize Mims’ skills this season.
Any Jets fans that are worried should take a chill pill and relax. This is a long offseason and Week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers can’t get here fast enough so we can let these speculative narratives die.