The New York Jets still have several pending free agents hanging in limbo.
Some of them have no shot of returning, while some others could depending on the price. However, the grains of sand in the hourglass is falling at a fast pace as other teams are starting to close in.
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Things Are Heating Up
One of Gang Green’s pending free agents is veteran wide receiver, Keelan Cole. Last offseason he joined the team on a one-year deal.
Now the 29-year-old could be heading for different waters.
Blake Jewell covers the Cincinnati Bengals for Sports Illustrated and recently urged them to sign Cole to a one-year deal.
Jacob Infante covers the Chicago Bears for Windy City Gridiron and listed Cole, along with eight other wide receivers as potential free agent targets.
Although another Bears insider, Robert Schmitz was more specific saying he wouldn’t “be shocked” if Chicago looks at Cole in free agency.
Mike Herndon who covers the Tennessee Titans listed Cole as a “realistic possibility” and even went as far as to say that the veteran wideout was his second preference only to Will Fuller.
A Strong Conversation
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports said that Cole “is the best outside free agent wide receiver right now” when you consider what his price tag would be.
Denzel Mims hasn’t proven trustworthy with the coaching staff and then there is a whole lot of nothing at outside receiver.
Cole didn’t have a great season with the Jets in 2021 based on the numbers:
- Only one touchdown
- 54.9 catch percentage
- 28 receptions
However, there are several benefits of bringing him back to the fold.
Cole’s teammates described him as a “glue guy” in the locker room over the summer. Someone who was a mentor based on his battle scars in the league and also had a fun personality that kept things loose.
Another feather in his cap is Cole’s knowledge of the offense. The Jets are going to add another wide receiver this offseason, it isn’t a question of ‘if’, but ‘when.’
If you had the choice of adding a wide receiver who already knew the offense versus someone that would have to spend time learning it, the decision becomes a tad easier.
We started this off by saying Cole didn’t have a great season last year and that’s true, however, that wasn’t his best effort.
When you look at his first four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cole was dynamic, reliable, and a good guy to have in the wide receiver room.
If I were a betting man, Cole having a bounceback campaign in 2022 is very much in the realm of realistic possibilities. That is something the Jets should bet on, but they better hurry up or he could end up elsewhere.