One big area the New York Jets failed to develop in 2012 was the wide receivers. Injuries and uneven play haunted the team throughout the season. The crop of wide receivers left a lot to be desired and needs to be upgraded next year.
The best receiver for the Jets in 2012 was second year man Jeremy Kerley. Kerley caught 56 passes for 827 yards and two scores after only catching 29 balls his rookie year. Kerley also averaged 14.8 yards a catch and really emerged after Santonio Holmes was hurt. Kerley is signed through 2014.
Holmes was lost early in the season during the loss against the San Francisco 49ers. Holmes managed 20 catches on the year before getting hurt. He has a big contract and will be brought back. He’s signed through 2015.
Rookie Stephen Hill had an up and down season. He had some big drops but also showed some big play capabilities. Hill opened the season with a bang catching two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in the home opener. He should be a starter next season.
The Jets brought back Braylon Edwards for the final three games of the year after he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks. He caught 10 passes in those three games. He has been the only receiver who had any chemistry with Mark Sanchez so it’s possible he could come back as a third or fourth receiver. It will depend on the type of contract he is looking for. Edwards is an unrestricted free agent.
The other unrestricted free agent is Chaz Schilens. Schilens caught 28 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He played 15 games after having a reputation as being injury prone. I don’t see any way that he returns.
Clyde Gates was added to the main roster after being cut by the Miami Dolphins in the last week of cuts. Gates actually played pretty well as he caught 16 passes for 224 yards. His route running has to improve but he could see his way back on the team next year.
Jordan White spent the majority of his rookie season on the practice squad but managed to play three games. He caught one pass for 13 yards. He should fight for the fifth receiver spot next year.
If the team brings back Edwards they will be set at the top four spots at wide receiver. The Jets really need a game breaker on the outside which they currently don’t possess. The return of Holmes should help whoever is the starting quarterback next season.