Today we continue to evaluate future talent to address the void of talent in our receiving corps, focusing today on the free agent market specifically. Through free agency the Jets can gain not only quality talent, but a veteran presence in the locker room which could prove invaluable for this young team. So without further adieu I give you the three best receiving options in free agency for the Jets.
TE Jimmy Graham: Okay, I will admit this one is a long shot. However, battle lines are being drawn and things will start to become less than cordial down in New Orleans as Graham will be looking for a new contract and trying to dodge a tight end franchise tag at all costs. Graham is a rare talent in this league, he has massive size and good speed, his hands are very reliable and he has the ability to plow through defenders and therefore is a threat all over the field. His presence in the red zone alone is near invaluable, as he can just pick a spot and jump for the ball. He creates match-up nightmares for opposing defenses and can help make any quarterback look good.
WR Eric Decker: Decker is starting to put together a good career for himself over in Denver, and while some might attribute that to Peyton Manning coming into town, it is easy to forget that his first breakout season came when he was catching passes from Tim Tebow. Decker has imposing size for a receiver and paired with great pass catching he could be a good option for the Jets. He has consistently shown an ability to find weaknesses in zone defenses, as well as an ability to use his size to gain an advantage over defenders. Like Graham he can also provide a red zone threat that the Jets drastically need. The downside to Decker is that he doesn’t show much after the catch, he is not a shifty guy and doesn’t possess that second burst or elite speed to elude defenders in pursuit of the ball.
WR Julian Edelman: With Welker gone and his replacement, Danny Amendola, battling through injury, Edelman was given the opportunity to have a breakout season, and have a breakout season he did. He did a lot of the Patriots this past season as a wide receiver and as a returner. He was there Jack-of-all-Trades and picked up the slack of the depleted receiving corps in New England. He finished the regular season with 1056 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has proven to be a reliable route runner and plays with a physicality that helps make up for his smaller frame. Bringing Edelman on board also has a level of gamesmanship and could help Rex Ryans defense have a little more of an inside edge against the Patriots vaunted offense. We would also be taking away the Patriots most productive receiving target from last season.
Check back next week where I will break down the next three options.