The NY Jets signed Corey Davis last offseason with the hopes that he could emerge as the team's No. 1 wide receiver. It was the first time in his NFL career that Davis had been asked to fill such a role, and the results were far from spectacular.
Davis struggled to the tune of his worst season to date finishing with just 34 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. It was his worst statistical output since his rookie year, and it came at a time when his team was relying on him the most.
Going into the 2022 season, though, things are looking up for the former top-five pick. The Jets are no longer leaning on Davis to be the No. 1 guy in their offense, and he's responded by putting together a quietly strong summer.
While players like Tyler Conklin, Quinnen Williams, and Sauce Gardner received a lot of the buzz this summer, Davis was one of the under-the-radar standouts who didn't garner as much attention.
Part of that is due to the work he put in this offseason to slim down to around 205 pounds — he played at roughly 215 last season.
NY Jets wide receiver Corey Davis is in excellent shape and in need of a bounce-back season
Davis was hampered significantly last season by a core-muscle injury that he initially tried to play through before it became unbearable. As ESPN's Rich Cimini noted, it got to a point where the pain was so bad that Davis couldn't even lift his leg.
Surgery was the inevitable outcome as Davis' season was cut short after just nine disappointing games. There are reasons to believe 2022 will produce better results, however.
The Jets have enough weapons in their offense that Davis won't be a constant target for opposing defenses. That's what allowed him to thrive in Tennessee and it's what the Jets hope will allow Davis to reach his ceiling in New York.
If not, the Jets have the ability to get out of Davis' contract as soon as next offseason. While he carries an $11.17 million cap hit into 2023, the Jets can cut him next offseason with a dead cap charge of less than $1 million.
This is a make-or-break season for Corey Davis. There's no guarantee he's even on the Jets' roster next year if he underperforms again. Evidently, he's more motivated than ever to bounce back this season.