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Free Agency

NY Jets: Corey Davis signing was a clear win for Gang Green

Allen Settle
NY Jets, Corey Davis (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Corey Davis (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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The NY Jets made their first significant signing of the 2021 free agency period by reportedly signing wide receiver Corey Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million dollar contract.

The franchise is assuredly hopeful that the addition of a fringe No. 1 pass catcher will help improve a passing offense that ranked dead last in the NFL last season.

Who is Corey Davis?

Davis will be a welcome addition for whoever suits up at quarterback in 2021 and beyond. While the former fifth overall pick has failed to live up to incredible hype following his tenure at Western Michigan, he has established himself as a solid, reliable, player.

He is also coming off the best season of his young career. Davis recorded a career-high 984 yards, 65 catches, and five touchdowns.

What will Corey Davis’ role be with the NY Jets?

The Jets would be wise to use their new playmaker in a similar role as the one he played with the Titans. Davis clearly excelled as a secondary option in a good offense.

While he has the upside to make big plays, the Jets should be careful not to thrust him directly into a role as the primary pass-catcher.

It is no coincidence that Davis’ best season came at the same time as A.J. Brown’s best campaign. The presence of an established No. 1 option allowed Davis to thrive in a complementary role.

While Brown’s skillset was more apt to succeed against double coverage and top cornerback competition, Davis was oftentimes allowed to match-up against less talented players.

As of this moment, the new acquisition will join a corps that also includes Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims. This group is unquestionably stronger today than it was a week ago. However, there is no clear No. 1 option amongst this group.

Davis is a great start. But New York should continue to pursue more pass-catching talent either via free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft.

The price tag

The Jets should feel good about the price tag they will pay over the next three seasons. Davis’ deal carries an average annual value of $12.5 million per year. This is just a hair above his projected value of $9.8 million per year, per Spotrac.

For the sake of context, superstar Deandre Hopkins leads the position with a $27 million average salary. Julio Jones comes in second with $22 million. Davis’ deal currently makes him the 19th highest-paid receiver this season.

While this seems high for his level of production, it places him around players like Alshon Jeffery (18th), Nelson Agholor (20th), Tyler Boyd (21st), and Sterling Shepard (22nd). This feels like a fair range for the newest member of the Jets.

It’s a good, but not a great contract. In a modern NFL struggling with the salary cap and payroll reductions, the Jets should feel good about their contract.

Conclusion

The Jets have a slew of needs to address during free agency and the draft. However, it was clear that their skill positions were one of their biggest weaknesses. Davis is a solid player on a healthy contract, who can make a tangible difference in 2021.

While he does not carry the same name recognition as a star like Kenny Golladay (who may also be a worthwhile target), he was considered one of the top free agents at his position.

Next. NY Jets 2021 Free Agency Live Tracker: Latest signings, re-signings, cuts

The Jets (and their fans) should count this signing as a clear victory.

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