Jets Disappointing Free Agent Bust Due for ‘Bounce Back’ Season

New York Jets

Getty New York Jets players gathering before running out on the football field.

Sometimes you can swing and miss in free agency.

Arguably no one knows this fun fact better than the New York Jets. Routinely throughout their history, they have swung big on a veteran free agent only to see their gamble flop like a fish.

Last year when the Jets paid Corey Davis over $37.5 million, there were incredibly high expectations for what he could bring to the table. For a variety of reasons that investment failed miserably.

Now heading into 2022 one analyst believes the talented wideout will be able to flip the narrative.

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An Incredible Comeback on the Way

Jets analyst Joe Caporoso of the Badlands podcast recently highlighted Davis as a strong bounce-back candidate next season for the Jets.

One of the reasons for his confidence is the Jets’ ability to add some more talented pieces around him this offseason on the offensive side of the ball.

In theory, defenses won’t be able to solely focus on Davis, they’ll have to spread their attention which should open up the doors for the veteran to make a much larger impact next season.

Some of the areas the green and white could improve upon in no particular order are the tight end position, acquiring a true No. 1 wide receiver, a complimentary running back to Michael Carter, and a starting right guard.

That probably sounds like a lot of things because it is a lot of things. The good news is the Jets have 9 picks in the 2022 NFL draft, the sixth-most cap space in the NFL, and as general manager, Joe Douglas put it an “aggressive” mentality.

If the Jets are able to add even just a few of those that should lighten the load on Davis and allow him to break out next season.

Diving Into Some of the Issues

Davis’ Jets debut started off with a bang he hauled in five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He was a focal point of the offense and had instant chemistry with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.

Then the pressure of being the guy in the offense and defenses starting to focus on him ruffled his feathers.

“Honestly, yeah,” Davis said to Rich Cimini of ESPN. “There were a lot more weapons (in Tennessee), so if you focus on one guy, it’s going to go to the other guy. It has been a little different here. Obviously, I’m the main focus point. We have to find ways, which the coaches do, to create space for me and get me the ball and move me around. Yeah, it has been a little different.”

Davis wasn’t able to adjust to the more intense spotlight of New York or his larger role and fell flat in a lot of different areas.

The 27-year-old had been incredibly durable in his previous four years with the Tennessee Titans, but that didn’t follow him to New York. Davis only played in nine games and battled a variety of ailments throughout the season.

He also struggled with catching the football.

Davis’ 57.6 percent catch rate was the second-lowest of his career in 2021. The veteran wideout finished with six drops on the year before he was ruled out for the season. At that time it ranked as the fourth-highest total in the NFL, per ESPN Stats and Information.

On top of all of those issues, he also fumbled twice which was the most of his career in any single season.

All in all, it was the second-worst season of his career in almost every major statistical category. Davis had 34 catches for 492 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

When you take a deeper dive into his track record, this past season for Davis appears to be an outlier. He had proven to be a high floor player that was great in contested catch scenarios and could be a solid No. 2 for any NFL team.

While this past year was ugly in a lot of different areas, Davis bouncing back in a major way in 2022 is a very good bet.

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