The best path forward for NY Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims

NY Jets, Denzel Mims
NY Jets, Denzel Mims / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets just got through an intense period of cutdowns to finalize their 53-man roster ahead of the start of the season. One of the players to make that roster amidst plenty of noise throughout the offseason was third-year wide receiver Denzel Mims.

Mims publicly requested a trade before the final preseason game this year and proceeded to have one of the best showings of his young career.

To this point, it appears that Mims will remain on the roster heading into the season after general manager Joe Douglas wasn't able to find the right value after fielding some trade calls for the receiver. Sitting down at his locker today, Mims discussed his attitude towards the situation.

It's clear that Mims still has frustration with the lack of playing time, and that is somewhat warranted considering the things that he had to go through over the past few seasons.

This includes the switch of an offensive system, getting COVID-19, as well as a food bug that kept him from being able to be at his best physically during a whirlwind of a two-year span.

With that being said, Mims has not played good football in meaningful games for quite some time. He flashed at moments as a rookie, but was unable to take the next step in his sophomore season. This unfortunately included untimely penalties and drops that cost the team.

Some fans and media heading into the offseason were talking about it as a near forgone conclusion that Mims would be cut or traded for basically nothing.

It is a testament to the work that he has put in this summer that he made the 53-man roster with an influx of talent coming in, as well as it being clear that Joe Douglas values him enough to not trade him just because an offer is made.

The next step is carving out a role on the team, and while he might not have gotten runs with the first-team offense during the majority of training camp, there is bound to be an opportunity for him during the season even if it is in a limited capacity starting out.

Denzel Mims needs to take advantage of his limited opportunities with the NY Jets

When Mims is on the field this season, whether it be in specific formations or through injury or poor performance for the receivers above him in the depth chart, he should be able to turn his frustration into effort on the field.

If he is able to shine the way that many believe is possible, he could create a very clear path for himself to replace Corey Davis as the big-bodied X receiver as soon as next season.

Davis is a respectable veteran who may even surprise and be the go-to guy that many expected last year, but his health is a bit of a question mark and he underwhelmed in 2021. If something like that repeats again, Mims should receive a clear opportunity to step into that role.

Corey Davis also has a sizable cap hit next season; if Mims were to approach the same level of production that Davis could by the end of the year, it could make things a lot simpler for the Jets front office in reallocating their spending.

The approach that Mims took toward attacking this offseason led to him being a solidified starter with clear value in Douglas's eyes. This will hopefully be the first step in a path toward him becoming a part of the Jets' future.

If he were to receive playing time and ball out but still not get an increased role or have zero opportunity in the offense to start the season, then the trade request is more than fair.

An improved look within training camp is not enough of a step for Mims. To prove his worth, ideally for the Jets instead of another team, he has to play at a higher standard than in the past during meaningful moments in the regular season.

Next. NY Jets 53-Man Roster Cut Tracker 2022: Live updates and analysis. dark

Here's to hoping that there could be future where Denzel Mims shines on the Jets roster.