NY Jets WR Braxton Berrios has more than earned a new contract

NY Jets, Braxton Berrios
NY Jets, Braxton Berrios / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas has made a habit out of unearthing surprise contributors in the unlikeliest of fashions, and one of his most prized discoveries has to be Braxton Berrios.

Claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots just prior to the 2019 season, Berrios quickly found a role as a reliable punt returner, but his impact seemed to be limited to special teams.

But over the last three years, Berrios has expanded his role and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he's one of the more valuable players on the roster at the moment, especially given the team's injuries at the wide receiver position.

Berrios has improved significantly as a receiver and is a more complete and versatile player than when he first stepped foot on the field with the Jets. As such, he's earned a new contract this offseason.

Braxton Berrios' role with the NY Jets is as large as it's ever been

Berrios saw an increased role in 2020, due in part to a lackluster receiving corps. The former Miami standout hauled in 37 catches for 394 yards and three touchdowns while doubling as the team's return man.

It was unclear what his role might be in 2021, especially with a revamped wide receiver room. But Berrios has done everything he can to force his way onto the field taking advantage of every snap he gets.

He's a dependable underneath target for Zach Wilson, a reliable and explosive punt returner, and now the team's unquestioned top kick returner. And he's thriving in every role.

Berrios is one of just four wide receivers in the NFL to receive at least 50 targets this season without registering a drop, along with Tyler Lockett, Tyler Boyd, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

On top of that, he leads the NFL with a stunning 30.7 yards per kick return, including an NFL-best 102 yard touchdown return in Week 16. No other player is within five yards of that average.

He's been equally effective as a punt returner as well averaging 13.4 yards per return which ranks second slightly behind Pro Bowler Devin Duvernay's 14.4 average.

Berrios is arguably the NFL's most efficient return man and a rock-solid No. 4 or 5 option in any offense. With his contract set to expire in the offseason, the Jets would be wise to re-sign Berrios.

His performance over the last few weeks has certainly helped his market value, but if the Jets can bring him back for somewhere around a two-year, $6 million deal, they should probably do it.

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Braxton Berrios has taken advantage of every opportunity he's been given to this point. He's someone the Jets should do their best to keep around.