Jets ‘Expected’ to Sign Veteran WR on 1-Year Deal: Report

Aaron Rodgers, Sauce Gardner

Getty New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers with cornerback Sauce Gardner at Madison Square Garden.

The Aaron Rodgers effect is in full swing for the New York Jets franchise after the latest report from ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

“A reunion,” he tweeted. “Former [Green Bay] Packers’ WR Randall Cobb is expected to agree to a one-year deal with the New York Jets, allowing him to play with Aaron Rodgers in NY, per sources. The two men who walked off the field together in Green Bay now get to do more work to do together.”

Schefter added that “Aaron Rodgers has 534 completions to Randall Cobb, including in the playoffs, the second most to any player in his career behind Davante Adams and his 687, per ESPN’s @EpKap.”

Randall Cobb to Join Crowded Jets WR Room

The Jets now have 12 wide receivers on their 90-man roster ahead of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), including three new undrafted rookies and two former draft picks. Those players are:

  • Likely first team; Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Corey Davis.
  • Likely second team; Mecole Hardman, Denzel Mims (or) Irvin Charles, Cobb.
  • Reserves/practice squad candidates; Diontae Spencer, Malik Taylor, and UDFAs T.J. Luther, Xavier Gipson, Jason Brownlee.

This creates some interesting camp battles this spring and summer for Gang Green.

Davis, Mims, Charles and Brownlee all profile as similar bigger-bodied wide receivers that can block and win jump balls in the red zone. Meanwhile Luther joins Hardman as another burner and potential returner. Spencer and Taylor are both experienced returners as well.

Then there are the slot weapons. Most have pegged Hardman as a potential slot target and although the ex-Kansas City Chiefs draft pick could rotate in at the position, he’s more of an outside deep threat by trade. Instead, expect Wilson to get a ton of starting looks in the slot when the Jets run three-WR sets.

That’s not to say Wilson is the WR3 — he’s the unquestioned WR1 — but when three pass-catchers are on the field he’s the most likely to move inside because of his dynamic route-running ability on the interior. Under Rodgers and NYJ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the Packers used to move around superstar WR Davante Adams in a similar fashion.

The Jets typically like all of their wideouts to learn each role inside the offense, so Lazard and Davis could certainly rotate in here as well with Cobb as the reliable veteran behind them (Braxton Berrios’ former position on offense). Gipson is another backup candidate in the slot.

Jets Forming Packers East Under Aaron Rodgers & Nathaniel Hackett

The Cobb signing — if completed — also continues another trend: Packers East. ESPN reporter Rich Cimini tweeted out a list of former Green Bay players that find themselves in Florham Park this spring.

“The New York Packers,” he voiced. “Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Billy Turner, Tim Boyle, OC Nathaniel Hackett. Players/coach with GB ties to Rodgers.” He later added Taylor to that group, being that the WR/KR had a brief stint with the Cheeseheads from 2020 through 2021.

Cobb is the least surprising of this group. The 32-year-old has been in the league 12 seasons, and 10 of them were with Rodgers and Green Bay.

Over the Packers portion of his career, Cobb has accumulated over 6,300 receiving yards with 47 touchdowns and 317 first downs. He’s averaged 11.9 yards per catch over that span, with 12.3 yards per catch as a Packer in 2022.

Cobb also holds a career catch percentage of 69.6%, a step above Berrios’ 64.8% reception rate. This transaction won’t move the needle for most fans, but if it makes Rodgers feel more comfortable in New York and it brings more leadership to a young room, there’s very little downside here.

After all, Cobb likely won’t earn too much more than the veteran minimum. He made $3 million with the Packers in 2022 and his average annual salary has decreased as he’s gotten older.

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