3 ideal WR targets for the NY Jets in 2024 free agency

These free-agent wide receivers would be perfect for the Jets
Curtis Samuel
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The 2023 season went about as awry as it possibly could have gone for the NY Jets. Besides the brutal Achilles tear Aaron Rodgers suffered in Week 1, the offense got very little production from its wide receivers, excluding Garrett Wilson who continues to grow into the WR1 we expect him to be.

That being said, it's important for Joe Douglas and the front office to take an aggressive approach to adding talent at the wide receiver position this offseason.

There are gems to be found in both the draft and free agency. There are always late-round wideout selections that we end up looking back on thinking, "Wow, how did he fall to them?"

As exciting as a young, moldable prospect could be, we've seen the Jets try to turn mid-to-late-round receivers into NFL-level players, and it hasn't really worked out in recent years.

From Denzel Mims all the way back to ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen in 2017, the track record for Jets general managers and Day 2 and Day 3 picks has been poor to put it lightly.

That being said, they can't afford to use a first-round pick on a receiver in such a deep offensive line class, so free agency is where Joe Douglas should take a stab at adding a weapon or two to the offense. Any of these three players would be excellent additions for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets.

1. The NY Jets could target Calvin Ridley

Calvin Ridley is the first receiver up on the docket. The former Atlanta Falcons' first-round pick is entering his age-30 season following a resurgent year with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He hauled in 76 passes for 1,016 yards to go along with eight scores. 2023 was his first active season since serving a year-long suspension for violating the league's gambling policy in 2021 while with the Falcons.

Out of all the available options, Ridley is probably my favorite. He's a decent speed threat with a catch radius that rivals some of the best in the league. I think the most intriguing thing about him is the compliment he can be to Garrett Wilson.

He's a true outside receiver, playing over 85% of his snaps from there as opposed to the slot. There's probably reason to be wary of giving Ridley the contract he's going to demand.

It's just his second season removed from his suspension, and he'll be teetering on the wrong side of 30 when the season begins. There are red flags and green flags, just as there are with any free agent, or draft prospect for that matter.

It's completely fair to be worried about regression from Ridley's 2023 campaign when you take into account age and his missed time, though his stats from his last full season versus 2023 are eye-opening.



90 catches (143 targets)

76 catches (136 targets)

1,374 receiving yards

1,016 receiving yards

9 touchdowns

8 touchdowns

279 YAC

194 YAC

Ridley stepped away from football during a game in October of 2021 to focus more on his mental health, so his last full season was the 15 games he played in 2020.

You'd expect a drop-off considering the concerning two-year absence, but there wasn't much of one. His 2020 season was a career-best in several metrics, so to see his production in 2023 stay as high as it did comparatively is good.

Ridley could very well end up being the highest-paid wide receiver in the 2024 free agency class, and it's ultimately up to Joe Douglas and co. to decide whether or not he's worth that, but you can't deny how fun it would be to watch him catch passes from Aaron Rodgers.