NFL Insider Calls out Jets for Sticking With Draft Bust: ‘It’s Time’

Robert Saleh

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh on August 22, 2022.

The New York Jets took on the Atlanta Falcons on national television last night and that meant extra attention from the entire NFL community.

In the end, Gang Green was victorious thanks to a second-half comeback by Chris Streveler and the third-stringers — but things didn’t look so great at the end of the first two quarters. Just before the half, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo even criticized the Jets publicly for the way they’ve handled the Denzel Mims situation.

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Garafolo Questions Jets

“It’s easier to understand what hot dog straw guy at the Subway Series is doing than why the Jets won’t just move on from Denzel Mims already,” voiced a flabbergasted Garafolo. “Not even sure what they could get in a trade at this point. Special teams snaps won’t help, either. It’s time.”

At this point in the game, Mims had not recorded a catch and beat reporter Brian Costello had just announced that he was getting snaps at the gunner position on punt coverage. If you’re wondering who “hot dog straw guy” is and why Garafolo referenced him, here’s the link.

Back to Mims — the Jets have definitely dragged their feet on this one. Rather than trade the former second-round pick while his value was still up, they’ve replaced him twice in the draft before burying him on the depth chart.

To be honest, this behind-the-scenes soap opera has been a weird distraction ever since the new regime has taken over. Head coach Robert Saleh and this staff have tried challenging Mims — which hasn’t worked. Then they tried a complete about-face, praising the Baylor product at press conferences, but that didn’t work either.

All summer, various members of the NYJ beat have reported that a Mims trade feels inevitable but now Garafolo is saying that the front office might have waited too long. If this entire debacle ends in a lackluster return or worse, the 2020 draft bust’s release, the entire fanbase may collectively blow a gasket.

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Jets Have 3 Mims Replacements on Roster

It’s only fair to point out that Mims had two catches just after Garafolo’s comment. The insider even admitted that the longer of the two “might help” his trade value.

The maligned draft pick finished with three grabs off four targets for 43 yards — although the lone incompletion was ripped from his hands for an interception. Add in another bonehead penalty on special teams and it was a typical showing from Mims with some good and some bad.

Whether or not you believe in Mims, the fact of the matter is this. His rookie contract expires after the 2023 season and considering everything that’s happened in New York, there’s very little chance he’d re-sign with the Jets. The franchise tag would also cost way too much for this inconsistent of a wide receiver.

That means the Green & White probably only have Mims for two more seasons and there’s a chance he won’t even be utilized during the 2022 campaign with Corey Davis still on the roster. The Jets also have three able-bodied talents that could step into his role today — WR/TE Lawrence Cager, and undrafted rookie WRs Calvin Jackson Jr. and Irvin Charles.

Cager stole the show again last night, with 65 yards and a touchdown off three receptions. Jackson was quiet and didn’t get as much burn — a sign that the coaches like him — but was the hero against the Philadelphia Eagles. Charles has been up and down, like Mims, but his physical size and stature could fill the void if the Jets decide to move on.

Without Mims in the mix, you might actually be able to keep two of the three — or at least one — and sneak someone like Charles onto the practice squad. For this reason, New York Daily News beat reporter Antwan Staley admitted that “the Jets must make the difficult decision and cut bait with Denzel Mims” during his postgame takeaways.

The Jets have to make five more roster cuts today (Aug. 23) before 4 p.m. EST, and the remaining 27 moves will have to occur before the following Tuesday. The clock is officially ticking on the potential of a Mims trade during the 2022 preseason.

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