Wow. Big and very surprising news shook the Jets offense on Wednesday afternoon as wide receiver Corey Davis announced his retirement from the NFL effective immediately.
Davis, only 28 years old and due $10.5 million this season, was a starter on the offense the previous two seasons and was projected to be a big contributor to the offense. Many believed that Davis was the second-best receiver on the team and poised for a breakout season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
Although he had missed time the last two seasons with injuries and was wildly overpaid for his production, Davis was a big and physical wide receiver with a knack for catching passed on third down and was an above-average blocker for his position.
The Jets are now in need of another option at receiver, with only Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb with any NFL experience. Even Cobb, at this point of his career, is really in the building to be a mentor and friend to Rodgers, not be an everyday player.
Although it is true that there are some very intriguing trade candidates for the Jets to target, I think a more realistic option for New York is to target a free agent option or possibly use this as an opportunity to allow one of their rookies or undrafted free agents get a bigger role during the last two weeks of the offseason.
Below are five options for the Jets to target in free agency or in their own building to replace Corey Davis after his retirement.
1. The NY Jets can sign Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay is yet to be signed since being released on March 15 by the New York Giants. Many Jets fans will remember him from this time when he was lackluster, to say the least. In two seasons with the Giants, Golladay posted just 43 catches for 602 yards and one singular touchdown.
However, Golladay was once a prized commodity in free agency not that long ago, and many Jets fans were upset when the team failed to land him.
Before an injury-riddled 2020 season, Golladay was a bonafide star for the Detroit Lions, where he managed to make a Pro Bowl in 2019 after 65 catches, 1,190 yards, and an 11-touchdown season for Detroit.
Golladay actually posted back-to-back 1000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019 for Detroit before his embarrassing performance for the Giants. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Golladay is a big target and could provide the size and athleticism the Jets relied on Davis for. If Golladay could get back to his Pro Bowl form, the Jets could come away with quite the steal.