As the New York Jets prepare for free agency one of the team’s highest priorities will be to upgrade the talent at the wide receiver position. The Jets are in desperate need of explosive playmakers and proven route runners that will allow offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to develop a passing attack that will compliment the physical ground game.
Recently Joel Corry from the National Football Post and CBSSports.com took the time to review some of the big name free agents that will be available. Mr. Corry is a former sports agent and a NFL contract and salary cap expert.
Tyson: Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker has been mentioned by many as an option for Gang Green. What are your thoughts on Decker and his potential price tag?
Joel: The Jets may not want to go the highest price WR route after Santonio Holmes. Decker's asking price will likely be more than the five-year, $45M deal (with $24M guaranteed) Holmes signed. Decker's disappearance in the Super Bowl doesn't negate his productivity. He's 11th in receptions (172), 9th in receiving yards (2,352) & tied for 3rd in TD catches (24) over the past two years.
TR: Another player that has been linked to the Jets is Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate. What type of deal do you think Tate will command on the open market?
JC: John Idzik's familiarity with Golden Tate makes him a more logical option. He should be cheaper than Decker. If Robert Meachem can sign (cut after one year), a four-year, $25.5M deal (with $14M guaranteed) on the open market, then what's Tate worth?
TR: It appears that the New York Giants are not going to re-sign Hakeem Nicks. Do you think that Gang Green would be able to sign Nicks under a "show me" type of deal since he is coming off of a very disappointing season?
JC: Hakeem Nicks is going take a hit in free agency because of two injury-plagued seasons. I'm not convinced that he will take as big as a hit as some people suspect. Teams must be sure that the leg injuries haven't robbed him of his speed. His deal could contain salary escalators to compensate him as a one of the better WRs with his 2011 production. If he is going for the "show me" deal, I'd look for him to go back home to North Carolina & do it with the Carolina Panthers.
TR: Are there any other wide receivers that you can see the New York Jets pursuing?
JC: Kenny Britt is a better candidate for the "show me" deal. There shouldn't be much of a market for him after a lousy 2013 season. Doug Baldwin could be a possibility as a restricted free agent if Idzik is willing to give up a 2nd round pick. Since he wasn't drafted, he'll likely get a 2nd round tender ($2.124M). An offer sheet could be front loaded enough where Seattle would have a hard time matching.
TR: Thank you for your time Joel. You can follow Joel Corry on Twitter at: @ corryjoel
It is going to be really interesting to see the direction that general manager John Idzik and the Jets go with the wide receiver position. Does the team break the bank for a guy like Decker? Or does Idzik try to go the more cost-effective route and sign a Baldwin or Britt?
If the top pass catchers go off the board quickly Gang Green could look at receivers like Anquan Boldin, Emmanuel Sanders, Jacoby Jones, or Brandon LaFell. Jeremy Maclin is a player that has been mentioned, but there are early reports that the Eagles will be re-signing him.
New York can also use the draft to add talent to the wide receiver group as there are several highly touted playmakers in this year’s class. Those players will be reviewed over the next several weeks.