Life isn’t fair. Everything isn’t equal. One day you can be a backup and another day you can be a starter and it may not have even been your fault.
One example that jumps to mind is the 2012 season for the San Francisco 49ers. In Week 10, the 49ers were 6-2 and were on top of the world with veteran quarterback Alex Smith leading the way.
He suffered a concussion in the middle of that contest and some guy named Colin Kaepernick stepped in to finish the game. Smith despite playing fantastic throughout the entire first half of that season lost his job due to injury and never got it back.
Kaepernick ended up leading the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII and never looked back. That offseason Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and his career changed forever.
It wasn’t fair that Smith lost his job in that way, but that’s sometimes how the cookie crumbles. Now we have another similar situation here in 2021 with the New York Jets.
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Laying out the Situation
On top of that situation, he also has been battling a groin issue that has held the veteran out of practice.
Earlier this offseason Crowder and Gang Green were involved in an awkward staredown. General manager Joe Douglas wanted to keep the wideout, but not at his projected $10 million salary. While the 28-year old had no motivation to take less money than he was supposed to make.
Ultimately both sides got something out of the revised deal.
The Jets sliced the last year of his deal in half (set to make $5.5 million this year) and Crowder got more guarantees (previously he had zero).
A Rare Special Opportunity Has Presented Itself
Crowder has been the leading receiver for the Jets over the last two years and was supposed to have a very big role heading into the 2021 campaign.
Although COVID and injuries have created an object in that path.
This provides a golden opportunity for rookie Gang Green wide receiver Elijah Moore. He has been the talk of the offseason with his level-headedness, spectacular plays, and his overwhelming star power.
It’s not fair that Crowder is battling through some adversity but the NFL is a cold-blooded business.
The veteran hasn’t been ruled out for Week 1 yet, but even still, at a minimum Crowder won’t be as prepared as he normally would be if he even suits up.
That puts the talented former Ole Miss stud squarely in the spotlight.
The original game plan for the Jets when they took Moore with the No. 34 overall pick in the second round was to play things slow. It was a luxury pick with all of the other talented wideouts they had on the roster.
Then the 21-year old stepped on the football field and everything changed.
Moore has been way better than the team expected both on and off the gridiron. The former Ole Miss product has been so good that you simply can’t keep him off the field.
With Crowder’s status uncertain for Week 1, Moore will likely plug-and-play in the slot as a foundation. From there he will likely be deployed all across the formation to provide a variety of looks.
Moore has a chance to grab this starting job and never give it back if he can show half of the ability he showed during the offseason.
If that happens, the Jets could keep Crowder for depth just in case of a future injury or could think about trading him to a needy contender ahead of the trade deadline.