For years the New York Jets struggled in the wide receiver department.
Since 2008 the green and white have only had two 1,000 yard receivers and they both came in 2015 when Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker accomplished that feat.
It has been a struggle to make things happen, but this offseason the green and white finally hit the reset button.
Despite those upgrades, this unit is still lacking a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver.
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Gang Green Has a Chance to Solve Their WR Issue
This week Kristopher Knox broke down his NFL trade block big board heading into Week 6 for Bleacher Report and listed the Jets as a potential landing spot for All-Pro New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas.
The former Ohio State product is currently on the physically unable to perform list due to offseason ankle surgery.
There is no denying his talent or production since entering the league as a second-round pick back in 2016:
- 510 receptions
- 5,950 yards
- 32 touchdowns
- Four 1,000 yard seasons in five years
- 331 first downs converted
The biggest reason the Saints could look to move on is because of their horrid cap situation. New Orleans is projected to be $50 million over the cap in 2022.
Thomas is set to count over $24.7 million against the cap next season and still has three more years left on his contract beyond 2021.
What Would It Cost?
In the same Bleacher Report column, Knox suggested a Thomas trade “would likely net an early draft pick.”
Saints writer Leigh Oleszczak said it “would be hard to pass up” a day two pick (second or third round) and the cap relief that would come with it.
Since he’s accounting for so much money on the books that would normally be a problem for any team looking to acquire him. Although the Jets are in a unique position because of their cap flexibility in 2022.
On top of having room to absorb Thomas’ contract, they also have a ton of draft ammunition to pull this off. The Jets have two second-rounders in 2022 (their own and the Carolina Panthers) on top of their own third-rounder.
The Jets have a lot of talented wideouts, but they lack a true superstar.
Having a true No. 1 wide receiver offers your young quarterback, Zach Wilson, a reliable and productive weapon.
That would also provide the green and white an opposing weapon that defenses have to prepare for. If they leave him one-on-one, Thomas has proven he can win those matchups consistently. If they decide to double him, that’ll open up the rest of the offense.
The Jets made all of their moves to provide themselves flexibility and the luxury to strike while the iron is hot. This is a unique scenario for Gang Green to add a dynamic weapon at an insane discount.