NFL Writer Says Jets WR Should ‘Expect to Be Traded’ Before Week 1

Denzel Mims

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims warms up before a game in 2022.

The New York Jets made a lot of changes to their wide receiver corps in 2023 — parting ways with Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith in favor of Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb.

NYJ general manager Joe Douglas also brought in a trio of undrafted wideouts: Jason Brownlee, T.J. Luther and Xavier Gipson. All three were given guaranteed money on the UDFA market — with Brownlee and Gipson getting paid the two largest amounts of guaranteed money for the entire Jets class of undrafted prospects this May.

Throw Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and 2022 UDFA Irvin Charles into the mix and you have a very crowded WR room in Florham Park this summer. That’s part of the reason Clutch Points NFL writer Jim Cerny believes the Jets “must” trade Mims before Week 1.

NFL Analyst Says Jets WR Denzel Mims Could Net ‘Day 3’ Draft Pick via Trade

During the article with Clutch Points, Cerny argued that the Jets “very likely could pursue trades to clear roster space at two positions.”

“There’s a talented wide receiver in Denzel Mims,” Cerny admitted. “Perhaps, that player is even ready to finally burst out. But it’s not going to happen with the Jets.”

He listed the former second-round selection’s various issues since being drafted in 2020. “Trouble with the playbook. Dropped passes. No touchdowns in 30 NFL games. Doesn’t have the faith of the coaching staff. A trade request last season… doesn’t play special teams,” Cerny noted, adding that he might actually be further down the depth chart in 2023 after the recent acquisitions.

“[Mims] has enough gifts that another team could be willing to give up a Day 3 pick for [him],” the analyst went on. “Though he’s only caught 42 passes in three seasons, he’s averaged 16.1 yards per reception. His catch percentage is a poor 45.7 percent, but he’s a big target (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) who was a big-play receiver in college at Baylor. Plus, he’s an excellent blocker in the run game.”

Despite that potential, Cerny concluded that “had the Jets released or traded Davis this offseason, there’d appear to be a path for Mims to be on New York’s 2023 roster,” but “with Saleh confirming Davis will remain with the Jets, Mims can expect to be traded before Week 1.”

Jets WR Denzel Mims Will Be a Free Agent in 2024

There are a lot of reasons to trade Mims — if a suitor exists. Cerny discussed most of them, but he left out one key factor too: The Baylor product is a free agent in 2024.

Even if he has a good bounce back campaign in 2023 under new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, he’s very unlikely to re-sign in New York next spring. Mims has already attempted to force his way out of the Jets organization in an effort to find more playing time, so why would he willingly come back on the open market?

The short answer: He wouldn’t.

Brownlee and Charles also bear major similarities to Mims as a wideout, and both are under team control for multiple years should either make the Week 1 roster in place of him.

NFL Network scouting expert Lance Zierlein described Brownlee as a “perimeter wideout with NFL size, an outstanding catch radius and the potential to outplay his draft slotting.” Continuing: “Brownlee will need to prove his speed, but he can make top-flight contested catches down the field and has the spring and length to outreach opponents when the ball is in the air.”

The 6-foot-4 Charles has also been known to play a similar role with the Jets, except he actually displayed special teams prowess during his Penn State days. All three fit the Z-WR position that Davis started at in 2022.

Perhaps, one of the two youngsters can even take over for Davis — another impending free agent — next season as Mims was always supposed to.

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