It’s been a rough three seasons in New York for former Jets second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims, and according to NYJ beat reporter Zack Rosenblatt, he may not make it to year four.
“I am curious to see how Mims fits into the Jets’ plans, but if I had to make a prediction right now, I’d say he’s not on the team in 2023,” Rosenblatt told readers during a mailbag article with The Athletic on April 7.
Given the recent changes at the wide receiver position with Nathaniel Hackett taking over the NYJ offense, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Jets sent Mims packing as well. After all, his salary jumps up to $1.35 million and change this season with a cap hit of $1.729 million if he makes the roster.
That may not seem pricey at face value, but for a WR that’s buried on the depth chart — it is. If the Jets were to cut or trade Mims at any point this spring or summer, they’ll save his base salary of $1.35 million, sacrificing just $378K in dead cap.
Denzel Mims’ Turbulent Ride With the Jets
After entering the NFL with high expectations out of Baylor, Mims showed promise during the second half of his rookie campaign — with 357 receiving yards in just nine appearances. Then came a regime change from Adam Gase over to Robert Saleh and ex-offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, and it was all downhill from there.
An unexpected bout with food poisoning was the beginning of a lightning-fast disappearance for the prospect during the transition. Newcomers Corey Davis and Elijah Moore — who is, ironically, gone before Mims — stole the spotlight in 2021 and Garrett Wilson executed a total takeover the following year.
Before long, the Baylor youngster was an afterthought, and it doesn’t seem like that will change under Hackett.
The Jets have already signed Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman this offseason, and they’re reportedly favorites to land Odell Beckham Jr. as well. Even if OBJ chooses another franchise, Mims would still rank fifth inside the wide receiver room with Davis potentially sticking around.
That’s not even taking into account tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah, or pass-catching running backs like Breece Hall and Michael Carter.
At this point, injuries could be the only way Mims finds his way onto the roster, and no fan wants that. With a new rookie or 2022 UDFA Irvin Charles profiling as a cheaper alternative, Rosenblatt could see his prediction turn into fact in no time.
Should the Jets Have Traded Denzel Mims in 2022?
It’s easy to play the ‘what if’ game from outside the organization, but general manager Joe Douglas may end up regretting hanging onto Mims over the past couple of years.
Outside of a few run blocks and receptions, the wideout scarcely made a difference on the field — and he wasn’t great on special teams either. One could argue that the new coaching staff never truly gave him a chance, but even if you believe that, it would only further cement that Douglas made the wrong decision in never trading Mims.
Whatever value the former second rounder had is now gone, and it’ll be pretty telling if the Jets end up cutting him for nothing in return.
Amid trade chatter last year, there was always the risk that Mims walked away from the organization at the end of his rookie deal if they chose to keep him. Few expected he might be gone before that rookie contract ever expired.