The NY Jets saw the emergence of Braxton Berrios in 2021. Little more than a depth piece and a solid special-teamer going into the year, Berrios broke out and emerged as one of the team's most versatile, dynamic weapons.
Going into the summer, there was even talk about Berrios being on the roster bubble, but a strong showing in training camp secured his place on the team. The former waiver-wire pickup would only continue to improve his stock as the season went on.
Berrios finished second on the team with 46 catches for 431 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 40 yards and two scores on the ground. On top of that, he was handed first-team All-Pro honors as a kick returner despite being a Pro Bowl snub.
Berrios proved his worth in 2021, but now that he's a free agent, it's likely other teams will have plenty of interest in signing the former sixth-round pick. Can the Jets make a competitive enough offer to keep him in New York? Or rather, should they?
Should the NY Jets re-sign Braxton Berrios?
The short answer to this question is yes. Of course the Jets should look to re-sign a player who proved to be valuable in multiple facets of the game in 2021.
Berrios has improved immensely as a receiver, and while he may not be a true every-down starting slot receiver, his value as a No. 3 or No. 4 guy in an offense is obvious.
On top of that, he's both an uber-reliable and explosive return man. Berrios led the NFL with 30.4 yards per kick return and finished second with 13.4 yards per punt return.
The Jets would like to avoid another Andre Roberts situation where they let their All-Pro returner walk in free agency only to struggle to find his replacement. But the situation with Berrios will ultimately come down to price point — not performance.
The Jets want to bring Berrios back and have reportedly engaged in preliminary extension talks. However, there's been some speculation that Berrios could be looking for up to $9 million per season which would make him one of the highest-paid slot receivers in football.
Put simply, there's no chance the Jets would consider paying him that.
Berrios is a good player, but the Jets would be foolish to go into 2022 with him as one of their starting wide receivers. A trio of Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Berrios doesn't do much to move the needle, especially when there are more appealing targets in the draft and on the trade market.
Berrios would be an excellent No. 4 wide receiver for the Jets in 2022, and that's likely the role they have envisioned for him. The issue with that is that some teams might be willing to pay Berrios starter money.
His 2021 production combined with his special-teams prowess has significantly raised his value. He might not get $9 million per year, but $6-8 million certainly isn't out of the question.
The Jets have too many needs to address to warrant paying their No. 4 receiver $7 million a season — it's just not going to happen.
For Berrios to return in 2022, the two sides are going to have to find common ground. The Jets will have to pay slightly more than they're comfortable paying while Berrios might have to take slightly less than another team could offer.
If not, there's a real possibility he walks in free agency. Ultimately, the Jets should re-sign Braxton Berrios this offseason, but only at a reasonable price.
Verdict: Re-sign (at a reasonable price)