2. Jamison Crowder, WR, NY Jets
This is undoubtedly not a popular suggestion amongst the Jets fanbase.
Jamison Crowder is respected and admired by Jets fans and by his teammates. On a team with very few consistent and reliable players over the last few years, Crowder has stood out as one of the Jets’ best players.
However, if you take a step back and read the tea leaves, some hints suggest that the Jets could be moving on from Crowder in the future. Before we delve into the financials, let’s take a look at the present-day hints of a potential parting of the ways.
The Jets signed former Titans wide receiver Corey Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million contract to open free agency. The 6-foot-3, former fifth overall pick is expected to start on the outside alongside 6-foot-3, 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims, who Douglas selected in his first draft.
The Jets also signed the 6-foot-1 Keelan Cole away from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The signing of Cole has significance when it comes to Crowder because like his new teammate, Cole plays in the slot and can return kicks.
The one dominant trait that Davis, Mims, and Cole all have in common is size. The significance of that is rooted in the Jets’ new offensive scheme run by Mike LaFleur, who figures to run a hybrid of the Kyle Shanahan system, for which LaFleur has sat under the learning tree for the last several years.
The system requires physical receivers who can block, break open-field tackles and make contested catches down the field.
Three areas that Davis, Mims, and Cole excel in and coincidentally three areas that are not considered the strong suit of the 5-foot-9, 177-pound Jamison Crowder.
Now for the business side of why the Jets may decide to move on from Jamison Crowder. He is entering the final year of a contract, one that he signed before Douglas became general manager of the Jets.
So it’s yet another player that, in theory, Douglas can move on from that he inherited. Crowder has a base salary of $10 million due in 2021. Supposing that he is traded during draft weekend, there would only be $1 million in dead cap money.
The argument for keeping Crowder around for a year while the Jets break in a rookie quarterback, presumably Zach Wilson, is a strong one. The idea would be to give Wilson as many reliable targets as possible as he goes through his early development.
It’s a sound argument, but if the Jets draft a young wideout or are presented with some decent draft capital in return for Crowder — something along the lines of a third or fourth-round pick in 2021 or 2022 — they might just decide to move on a year early.
Next: 1. Marcus Maye