As a matter of fact, they have the luxury to be very picky with who they retain and who they let walk.
One analyst predicted that they’ll let one key veteran go and he should have a robust market in free agency.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Salutations My Friend
Michelle Bruton wrote a column for Bleacher Report making one free agent prediction for every team in the NFL. For the Jets, she expects veteran Jamison Crowder to reach unrestricted free agency in March.
Part of her explanation centered around the 28-year-old (who will be 29 by the start of the 2022 season) coming off of a down year due to injuries and utilization. Although it isn’t all bad for the wide receiver, the other expectation is that he will enjoy a nice market and will be a “hot commodity” in free agency.
According to Spotrac’s market value (a projection of what a player will be worth), the former Duke product will command a new contract that pays him $12.3 million annually on a multi-year deal. That would place him 22nd among the highest-paid wide receivers in football.
For what it is worth, Rich Cimini of ESPN recently played a game of should they stay or should they go with all of the Jets pending free agents. In that game of musical chairs, his informed opinion was Crowder “will probably move on.”
Kept the Seat Warm for a Youngster
While the Jets are very much in the market for a true No. 1 wide receiver this offseason, Crowder’s role could be filled from within.
Promising wide receiver Elijah Moore could step up to play more in the slot in 2022. Back during his time at Ole Miss, he had plenty of experience playing inside, and most projected him there at the NFL level.
Although one of the reasons why the Jets played Moore a lot on the outside in his rookie season was to take advantage of his vertical speed down the field. That would have been somewhat mitigated in the slot.
Another option for the Jets is to retain gadget player Braxton Berrios and make him the new starting slot receiver. It is unclear how the Jets feel about that potential move, but that should be answered here in a matter of weeks.
If Berrios gets around $5 or $6 million per season, he will stay in the role he had last season as a do it all weapon. Although if his price range extends beyond that either the Jets (or another NFL team) clearly values him as a top-flight starting slot receiver.
Cimini recently labeled Berrios as a “priority free agent” for the Jets and said the team has a desire to retain him this offseason.
Although he did add that there is a “good chance” that he reaches free agency. That doesn’t necessarily mean Berrios will join a new team, but it certainly provides him an opportunity to test his value.