NFL Free Agency: 5 Wide Receivers That Could Help New York Jets

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NFL Free Agency:5 Wide Receivers That Could Help New York Jets

Santonio
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It has been documented how anemic the New York Jets looked on offense at times this past season. A large amount of discussion highlighted the struggles of fourth year quarterback Mark Sanchez. While his decision making was baffling during certain games, he alone should not shoulder the blame. Injury robbed Sanchez of his most dangerous weapon in the explosive (both on and off the field) Santonio Holmes. Without Holmes in the lineup for most of the year, there was no one to keep double teams away from the emerging Jeremy Kerley. While Kerley is an exciting talent it is not enough.

Stephen Hill has great height and speed but is still very raw. Braylon Edwards offers a veteran presence that is still capable of showing signs of his former game-breaking ability. However, Edwards is about to become a free agent, so it is unknown if he will return. Clyde Gates was really just signed out of desperation, and while he has speed, should not be viewed as a major part of the game plan.

Potentially in Hill, Edwards Kerley, and a healthy Holmes there is a dangerous receiving core. Unfortunately those are a couple hypothetical situations. There needs to be addition playmaking on the outside. New York does not have too much wiggle room with the salary cap even with the recent cuts. Given these restrictions it is important to improve weapons through the NFL Draft, as well as cost effective free agents. John Idzik will be hard pressed to address this issue within the confines of the restrictions.

Idzik obtained this job based partly upon his ability as a “cap guy”. This is a similar niche to his predecessor Mike Tannebaum, but he also has personnel experience which could help scout talent. Names like Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace are most likely out of their price range, but here are some reasonable considerations that could make an impact.

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Randy Moss

Randy
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Moss showed last year with the San Francisco 49ers that he be a team player. Moss also proved to be a valuable locker room presence for Michael Crabtree. The veteran still has the ability to stretch a defense. While he may not be the game breaker that he once was Moss still occupies the attention of the opposing secondary. Although his numbers from 2012 won’t wow anyone (28 receptions, three touchdowns) the former Pro Bowler still had an average of 15.5 yards per catch.

Moss always had the ability to be one of the best wide receivers not only in the actively, but of all time. His claim of being the greatest ever may not be accurate, but he is certainly up there. One thing always hindering Moss was attitude. Perception became especially later in his career, that Moss was lazy.

He appeared to only run a straight go route down the field, with no interest in going across the middle. However, “retirement” agreed with Moss. There was much more effectiveness in his play than numbers would show. If Moss wants to play in 2013, and it appears he does, it shouldn’t require that much money to obtain him. New York should at least make a phone call.

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Brian Hartline

Brian
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the number one is misleading. That is how many touchdown catches Brian Hartline had last season. While this may seem like a bad statistic Hartline made it count. The single score came in a week four loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

It was an impressive play where Hartline broke open, beating his man by 10 yards off the ball. He then proceeded to take it 80 yards to the end zone. Although he wouldn’t score again, this former Ohio State Buckeye standout registered a career- high 74 catches. He was a vital part of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s success. Hartline demonstrated he is an effective possession target, meaning he regularly brings in what is thrown in his direction. It is also always a plus to take talent away from a division rival.

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Danny Amendola

Danny
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Here is an interesting player. Danny Amendola serves as a story of what perseverance can accomplish. After being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Amendola spent his first two seasons on the practice squad for the Dallas Cowboys then the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Texas Tech University Red Raider signed with the St. Louis Rams in 2010. He immediately became a reliable target for Sam Bradford, registering 85 catches. Amendola is tremendous out of the slot. The only concern is durability. Amendola has missed 16 games the past two seasons. If healthy, he can provide a great option for Mark Sanchez or whoever is the quarterback.

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Titus Young

Titus
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

This name may raise some eyebrows. While Titus Young’s personality is unstable to say the least there is logic to here. The volatile wide receiver had a bizarre separation from the Detroit Lions. Immediately he was signed by the St. Louis Rams only to be cut by a team that is also desperate for receiving help

Young would seem like a disaster to most fans if added to an already toxic locker room. The thinking here is that Rex Ryan who once had an ability to unite a team and motivate players can do that once again. In such a scenario, Young also realizes that he is only one mistake away from being out of the NFL. He has a lot of talent, so if Ryan could get through to him, Young could be worth the large risk.

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Wes Welker

Wes
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about an odd image, seeing Wes Welker in a Jets jersey would be strange. Considering Welker’s foot comments about Rex Ryan a few seasons ago, it would take lot to make this happen. The New England Patriots would have to break off talks with the dynamic receiver. He would also have to come to terms that were friendly to New York’s situation. Welker has caught 100 or more passes in five of his six years in New England.

Even if Welker did change sides in this bitter rivalry there would be a concern. Without Tom Brady as his quarterback, Welker never scored more than one touchdown in a season. He would be great in the slot with Kerley. This pairing is unlikely, but it would be very interesting.


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