Robert Saleh suggests the NY Jets won't be cutting Corey Davis
By Justin Fried
Going into the offseason, there seemed to be no more obvious cap casualty for the NY Jets than Corey Davis. Yet, as we approach the end of March, the veteran wide receiver is still on the roster.
Why? What gives? Do the Jets still plan to release or possibly even trade Davis or is he a part of their plans for the 2023 season? Head coach Robert Saleh offered some insight when speaking to reporters at the NFL league meetings on Monday.
Saleh insisted that he would "definitely" like to keep Davis and heavily implied that the six-year NFL veteran would remain with the team in 2023. They were certainly surprising comments, given how most essentially wrote Davis off as a roster cut before the offseason even began.
So, does this mean the Jets plan to keep Davis? I'm not sure I'd go that far yet.
Why the NY Jets could still release or trade Corey Davis despite Robert Saleh's comments
For starters, Saleh is never going to come out and publicly suggest Davis might not be on the Jets' roster in 2023. Until a release is made official, coaches will continue to sing their players' praises.
It's also notable that Saleh's comments about Davis varied from his comments regarding Carl Lawson's future. Saleh spoke in definites in regard to Lawson, insisting that he will absolutely be on the team in 2023. He stopped short of saying that with Davis.
Saleh did note that he would love for Davis to be on the Jets' roster in 2023, but he spoke with a different tone than the one he did when talking about Lawson. That's an important note.
Davis is set to carry a cap hit of $11.17 million into next season, but the Jets can cut or trade him at any time and save $10.5 million with under $700,000 in dead cap. That would more than double the available cap space the Jets currently possess.
Keeping Davis on the roster doesn't make much sense, especially if the Jets plan on signing Odell Beckham. A wide receiver room of Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Beckham is already crowded enough — there wouldn't be room for Davis.
The Jets are strapped for cap space and seem to have enough wide receiver depth if the Beckham signing happens. Davis would be the odd man out.
So why is he still on the roster when the Jets released fellow wide receiver Braxton Berrios before the start of free agency? The most logical conclusion is that Davis could be involved in the eventual Aaron Rodgers trade.
The Packers can eat Davis' contract as soon as the Rodgers trade becomes official, as they would free up $15 million in cap space. They certainly could use a wide receiver following Lazard's departure as well.
Just because Saleh publicly praises Davis, doesn't mean he actually is going to be on the Jets' roster in 2023. That notion becomes increasingly apparent when you read between the lines of what he actually said.
I would be very surprised if Corey Davis was on the Jets' roster come September.