There aren’t a lot of things going well in the midst of a 3-9 campaign for the New York Jets.
Although one thing that has been super impressive has been the play of wide receiver Braxton Berrios.
On Sunday versus the Philadelphia Eagles, he reminded everyone how dangerous he can be on the football field.
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The Secret Sauce in the Pantry
The Jets scored a touchdown on their first three drives and one of the main reasons for that was Berrios in the return game.
The 26-year old finished the day with three returns for 139 yards. He averaged an incredible 46.3 yards per return and that included a long of 79 yards on the opening kickoff.
After the game Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson deferred all the credit of the offensive success to some of those big-time returns from Berrios:
“Obviously it started with Braxton putting us in great field position and gave us some good momentum. That was what we needed.”
After the dust settled, Berrios is now among the elite in the NFL. He now leads the league in kick return average (28.9 yards per return).
While he didn’t get a chance to return a punt on Sunday versus the Eagles (thanks defense) he is still elite in that category as well. Berrios is second in the NFL in punt return average (13.6 yards per return).
Too often in recent Jets history, their offense has struggled but they haven’t gotten any help from the other facets of the team. Yet on Sunday, we got a taste of what complementary football is supposed to look like.
Thanks to some huge plays on special teams, the offense had shorter fields to work with, which helped put their young quarterback in a position to succeed.
You Have to Retain Your Talent
Berrios is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and the Jets should do everything in their power to retain him.
The veteran receiver has made just over $2.5 million in career earnings since 2018.
This re-signing wouldn’t win headlines or be splashed across the backpages, but this is a glue guy that is a perfect piece on this team.
In 44 career games, Berrios has 69 receptions for 760 yards and four touchdowns. He has proven that he can be a cog in the machine of a functional offense.
Having a slot player in this offense is so important and the fact he can do so many other things makes him an invaluable piece to the puzzle.
The more you can offer an NFL team in terms of versatility, the longer your career will be in the NFL.
Two other receivers on the Jets roster are also set to be free agents (Keelan Cole and Jamison Crowder). A lot of decisions will be coming in the next couple of months for the Gang Green front office.