According to that tweet from Mike Garafolo of USA Today, the New York Jets have been in discussions with former New York Giants‘ WR Ramses Barden about signing a deal with the team. There is no indication of how serious talks have been between Barden and the Jets, but Barden seemed to shut down the notion earlier this offseason that he’d return to the Giants.
Barden was drafted by the Giants in 2009 in the third round out of Cal Poly. The Giants fell in love with his size, as he stands at 6’7″ and 230 lbs. The Giants were looking at him emerging into a red zone threat, taking the place of WR Plaxico Burress. Barden never materialized into the kind of reliable wide receiver the Giants thought they were getting.
It appeared Barden was starting to emerge in the 2012 season, when he had a big game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 replacing injured WR Hakeem Nicks. That was short-lived, and it’s definitely time for a fresh start and an opportunity for Barden. He can most certainly receive that with the Jets.
The Jets are looking for weapons to surround new draftee QB Geno Smith or incumbent starter QB Mark Sanchez with. They did not get any offensive weapons in the draft, rather surprising but not entirely foolish. The draft lacked offensive talent, so the Jets were probably better served making their defense even better.
The Jets put themselves in position to draft WR Tavon Austin, who was teammates with Smith at West Virginia University. The Buffalo Bills, looking to keep Austin out of the AFC East, traded their pick to the St. Louis Rams, who in turn snagged him a pick before the Jets were able to.
Barden should be able to sign for cheap. After all, there aren’t many teams dying for his services. He has to prove he can be productive in this league. The Jets can afford him that opportunity, but it’s his to seize.