The New York Jets are dealing with what kids like to call a ‘first world problem’ at wide receiver.
You can have as many talented wideouts as you’d like, but at the end of the day, there is only one football, and there are a lot of mouths to feed on this offense.
One mouth that hasn’t been fed is talented second-year wideout, Denzel Mims.
Heading into the Week 1 opener against the Carolina Panthers many of us expected Mims to have a large role.
That didn’t happen on Sunday.
Mims finished with three total snaps and made the most of it hauling in a nice 40-yard reception that set up rookie quarterback Zach Wilson for his second touchdown of the day.
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The Inside Scoop on What Is Really Going On
On the Flight Deck podcast hosted by ESPN’s Rich Cimini he was answering questions in his mailbag segment when the Mims topic was brought up:
“Quite obviously the Jets don’t feel comfortable with Mims playing a significant role. The unwritten reason is that they don’t believe he knows the offense well enough, which is kind of hard to believe.”
On Monday, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh finally shared some insight into the lack of Mims usage not only in the season opener but throughout training camp.
During that answer, he said Mims isn’t among the top three wide receivers on the team, and if he wants playing time he needs to know all of the other wideout positions at a high level.
Cimini would go on to say that Mims is “extremely frustrated” with his role and it stems back to training camp:
“There were six or seven plays in training camp where he ran the wrong route. It wasn’t dramatically wrong, not a total bust, but slight imperfections in his route running that caused the coaching staff to get on him. I don’t think he handled it well and he feels like he is being penalized for mistakes that some of the other receivers are making as well.”
Cimini called it a “dicey situation” and said that Jets’ offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur came up to him after the game and tried to give him a pep talk, “hey I’m proud of you and you’re almost there, just hang in there.”
According to Cimini, “it didn’t go over well with Mims” despite LaFleur having good intentions and it only increased Denzel’s frustration.
Trade Winds Are Swirling Ahead of the Deadline
If Mims didn’t play in Week 1 when the path to playing time was as open as it’ll ever be, what the heck is going to happen when Cole and Crowder return?
Spoiler alert, he isn’t going to get any playing time.
The second-year wideout is only 23 years old and he still has an additional two years left on his contract for less than $3 million in total value.
In a perfect world, this Jets coaching staff would get their crap together and find a way to maximize a 6-foot-3, 220-pound wide receiver with a special set of skills.
Since that doesn’t seem likely here in the near future, it may be in the Jets’ best interest to explore the trade market.
There is a lot of speculation that Mims could end up on the inactive list this week which would be just as bad as not playing, if not worse.
If you aren’t going to use him, might as well trade him while his value is still relatively high.
Cimini noted during his podcast that he knows “several teams are interested” in trading for the talented wideout if he were to shake free.
One of those teams that would be interested, per Cimini, would be the Carolina Panthers. Matt Rhule coached Mims while he was at Baylor and he already told people that if he became available he would be very “interested.”
Mims arrived at Baylor before coach Rhule did (2016), but didn’t explode on the scene until he got there: 182 receptions for 2,901 yards and 28 touchdowns in three seasons together.
It would be an embarrassment of riches for the Panthers at wide receiver with Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and Terrace Marshall Jr already on the roster.
In any potential deal, the Jets should explore whether they could get back a Moore or Marshall. Crowder and Cole both may be gone next year and the Jets could use a third receiver to pair up with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have a No. 1 wide receiver in Michael Thomas, but they have been desperately searching for a proper Robin to his Batman. Mims would be a great second option for that aggressive New Orleans passing attack.
The Jets would take back Demario Davis in a New York minute if they could, especially considering all of their current linebacker issues. Although it’s unlikely the Saints would be in the giving mood.
A player to watch would be pass rusher Marcus Davenport. He recently hurt his pec and is expected to miss some time, but this acquisition would be about the long term anyway.
Davenport has two years left on his rookie deal and has a ton of potential as a bookend sack artist.
The Lions are absolutely terrible and they’re missing star power at the wide receiver position after letting Kenny Golladay walk this offseason. Mims could be their mini version of Megatron.
Over the next two years, they have four first-rounders and a pair of second and third-rounders. If the Jets could get back what they initially invested in Mims (a second-round draft choice), I think they’d listen.
One player I’d be very interested in acquiring is former Syracuse stud Ifeatu Melifonwu. A super rangy highly athletic cornerback that would be a seamless fit in this Robert Saleh scheme. He’s only a rookie and would have multiple cheap years at a critical position of need.
This would be a perfect fit for the Ravens’ offense. Mims is a big physical wide receiver that has run blocking highlights sprinkled throughout his NFL tape. In Baltimore, he could help a team that has been battling a variety of injuries and provide former MVP Lamar Jackson a big toy to throw to.
Jaylon Ferguson is an intriguing pass rusher the Jets could add to the room who still has two years left on his deal for under $2 million in total value. This would be a trade that could help out both sides tremendously.
Rich Cimini called a potential Mims trade and his future “a situation to watch.” I had a few people from Houston reach out to me and ask me, what would it take to pry him free?
The Texans are another one of those teams where it would likely have to be a trade built around draft compensation as opposed to a player-for-player swap.
Although if they went that route there are plenty of former Jets on this Texans roster that could help this injured Gang Green squad: Neville Hewitt, Jordan Jenkins, and Kevin Pierre-Louis.
Another player I’d keep an eye on is Brevin Jordan a rookie tight end out of Miami. The Jets lack spice in their tight end room and Jordan could provide some juice and a nice building block for the future.