A lot of New York Jets fans seem pretty satisfied with the free-agent haul for the team thus far.
Although not everyone feels that way.
This week an analyst absolutely roasted the green and white for making a fatal and somewhat familiar mistake on the open market.
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Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently highlighted one offseason move by every NFL team that they could end up regretting.
For the Jets it was simple, he strongly believes they overpaid to acquire tight-end CJ Uzomah from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Moton explained that the decision by the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins to franchise tag their tight ends (Dalton Schultz, Mike Gesicki) “foiled” the Jets’ plans and caused them to panic and pay someone else instead.
“To compound their tight end issue, the Jets overpaid for C.J. Uzomah, who hasn’t caught 50 passes or racked up more than 493 receiving yards in any of his seven seasons. With a career average of 9.8 yards per reception, he isn’t a special playmaker or a mismatch waiting to happen.”
In addition to overpaying for a player that doesn’t have an impressive track record, Moton points to the team double-dipping at the tight end position (Tyler Conklin) in free agency as a mistake. With the former Minnesota Vikings stud set for a “decent role” that means Uzomah by nature won’t have as big of an impact.
In conclusion, Moton argued that the Jets should’ve handed him a one-year prove-it deal instead of the three-year $24 million contract they doled out to him in free agency.
He said that you can’t properly assess how good Uzomah is because he played with a ton of superstar talent with the Bengals and could’ve easily been a byproduct of defenses not focusing on him. Ultimately Moton said Uzomah is “likely to fall short of expectations” in 2022.
Devil’s Advocate Approach
Moton makes several points that are true both statistically and factually, however, there are a few nuggets worth sharing.
Firstly everyone is overpaid in free agency, it is the nature of the beast. It is going to happen, but the main thing you can try to do is make sure it doesn’t get too crazy.
On the other hand, the moment the veteran stepped into the team facilities he instantly became the best tight end they’ve had since Dustin Keller. That is an indictment certainly on the Jets’ decision-making over the last decade, but also speaks to the talent and potential Uzomah possesses.
In free agency, you shouldn’t pay a guy for his past accomplishments, but instead, pay him for what you believe he can do for you.
With that thought in mind, the Jets saw the size (6-foot-6, 260 pounds), the fit in the offense, and projected him to be a rising star. They bit the bullet and paid the necessary price to bring him in.
Ultimately the proof will be in the pudding and final stats, but Uzomah immediately endeared himself to the fans with his infectious smile and personality and became an instant favorite.