The NY Jets shifted their receiving room a lot this offseason, but their depth at the position is slim. Luckily, some quality names are still available for signing.
The NY Jets had a busy day on Wednesday, signing future Hall of Fame running back Frank Gore along with clearing six roster spots, potentially for undrafted free agents. They also lost two of their backup receivers, Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy, for the rest of the season.
The Jets announced they placed Enunwa and Bellamy on the reserve/PUP (physically unable to perform) list, meaning that they will not play this year. It may very well be the end of the road for Enunwa, who suffered his second neck injury early in the 2019 season.
Since signing a four-year, $36 million extension at the end of 2018, he’s played in one game, and that won’t change after this season and likely for the rest of his career.
If Enunwa were to somehow become healthy again for the upcoming season, he would have been the team’s best backup wideout. Now, the number three outside receiver on the Jets’ roster is a toss-up between Vyncint Smith and Josh Doctson.
Not ideal in a gigantic year for young quarterback Sam Darnold.
With that being said, the Jets need to look into signing a receiver still available in free agency. Believe it or not, there are still some quality names that can be a strong upgrade over the likes of Smith and/or Doctson.
One name stands out amongst the rest — Paul Richardson.
Richardson was signed to a big five-year, $40 million deal by the Washington Redskins in 2018 after a productive 2017 for the Seattle Seahawks.
Unfortunately for Richardson, he battled injuries in Washington and never managed to play more than 10 games. Hamstring and shoulder injuries curbed his production significantly, and the Redskins decided to move on from him following the 2019 season.
Before his time in Washington, Richardson looked like a rising deep threat for Seattle. He reeled in 44 of 80 targets for 700 yards and six touchdowns.
He played in all 16 games and started in 13, and averaged an incredible 16 yards per catch. That season earned him the massive contract from the Redskins, where he never found the same success.
Now, Richardson is still a free agent in May. The Jets should be considering giving Richardson a low-cost deal to prove he can still be healthy and produce on the football field. He’s arguably the best remaining outside receiver on the free agency market.
Of course, the Jets could look into making a trade for a receiver. However, Joe Douglas has put a big emphasis on building through the draft.
He doesn’t believe the Jets are in a position to trade away picks. If anything, he’s prioritized trading and accumulating more picks during his time as general manager.
Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, and Jamison Crowder will likely go into 2020 as the starting wide receivers for Gang Green. The question is, can they all stay healthy for 16 games? If that isn’t the case, the Jets’ depth at the wide receiver position is very shaky.
They should be looking at names to bring in and compete for the second-string wide receiver spots, and a cheap flier at the position could be Paul Richardson.