Jets WR Corey Davis Breaks Silence on Absence With Stunning Announcement

Corey Davis

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis has retired from the NFL.

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh offered a noncommittal response when asked about wide receiver Corey Davis today on August 23.

Davis has been away from the team for most of training camp due to a “personal matter,” and after a reporter questioned how much longer he might be gone, Saleh simply said: “However long he needs.”

The mysterious situation caused some to speculate that the Jets might be moving on from Davis and his $11-plus million cap hit ahead of the 2023 season but in the end, it was the veteran wideout who decided to move on from the organization — and the game of football itself.

“For some time now I’ve been contemplating stepping away from the sport of football,” Davis voiced on Instagram, announcing his unexpected retirement from the NFL. “This decision has not been easy. Although I am a deep person, I am a man of few words. I’ve been searching my heart for what to do and I feel that stepping away from the game is the best path for me at this time. I have more blessings than I could have ever imagined — I have an amazing family, a beautiful wife and two healthy children that I look forward to spending more time with. I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I have had and will continue to have on my journey. Thank you to my family and friends and the Jets organization for supporting me through this process.”

Per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Jets officially placed Davis on the reserve/retired list shortly after the news on August 23. This transaction opens up a spot on the 90-man roster, clearing $10.5 million in cap space — the same amount as if Davis had been released.

Corey Davis’ Retirement Sheds Light on a Mysterious Offseason With Jets

Davis entered the 2023 offseason as a clear cut candidate due to his contract. Yet at every turn, Saleh and the organization supported the veteran team leader, never wavering on their desire to keep him on the roster for the final year of his deal.

No pay-cut or restructure came either, which was somewhat odd considering how many other returning Jets players shifted money around in order to help acquire Aaron Rodgers, among others. Needless to say, this announcement explains a lot.

Although Davis did not make the exact reason for his retirement known at this time, he talked about his family throughout. He finished his career with 3,879 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns during the regular season off 273 catches, as well as another 166 receiving yards and three touchdowns (15 catches) in the playoffs.

The No. 5 overall pick in 2017 never quite lived up to expectations, but had a very solid NFL career, nonetheless. He hangs them up at a young age of 28 years old.

Jets Fallout of Corey Davis’ Unexpected Retirement From NFL

With just 19 days before Week 1, it’ll be interesting to see how the Jets choose to pivot at wide receiver. “Robert Saleh said the door is open for Corey Davis to return to the Jets if he decides he wants to play again,” SNY’s Connor Hughes reported after the news, quoting the head coach, who said: “He always has a family here.”

Be that as it may, it’s unlikely Davis changes his mind two weeks from now. So, will the Jets add a pass-catcher or stick with their current group?

The free agent pool isn’t typically great in late-August. Currently, older players near retirement and problem-cases headline the group of available wideouts — Julio Jones, Kenny Golladay, Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins and T.Y. Hilton types, to name a few.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas could also survey the trade market. Fans have urged the team to call the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about Mike Evans or Chris Godwin, and a few other big-name WRs like Jerry Jeudy had been rumored to be available throughout the offseason.

Of course, Gang Green could always stand pat for now, and see if any stars become available as the season progresses. Undrafted rookie Jason Brownlee has impressed all summer and the team still has a deep group that can get them through the early stages of the year — featuring Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb.

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