The New York Jets recently added wide receiver Braylon Edwards in an attempt to bolster what many view as the worst group of receivers in the NFL. While this signing may be a step in the right direction for the team’s weak receiving corps, it is not the answer to their problems.
Edwards is a shell of the player he once was, totaling just 33 receptions for 380 yards and one touchdown over the last two seasons. He may have a good relationship with Mark Sanchez, but that relationship won’t get Edwards open down the field. With the exception of stellar slot receiver Jeremy Kerley, New York has assembled a group of receivers that is very raw, mixing in a couple veterans who are far bigger names than talents.
If the Jets are serious about giving their quarterbacks some help, they need to go after former New England Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd. The 32-year-old Lloyd has been far more productive than Edwards over the last two years, posting 125 catches for 1,594 yards and nine TDs in that time frame.
Lloyd offers the type of reliable vertical threat that the Jets have noticeably lacked in recent years. He has speed to burn and is very effective on deep balls, meaning he would add an element of explosiveness to the offense that the team desperately needs. He has reliable hands and is a very good route runner, qualities that presumed starters Edwards and Stephen Hill lack. With Santonio Holmes‘ return date still very much in question, the Jets need to add another solid target to the passing game.
New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg runs a West Coast offense that relies heavily on precision and timing. Again, Lloyd is a far better fit for this system than players like Edwards and Hill, who prefer to use their size and athleticism to create separation. Whether Sanchez or rookie Geno Smith is under center is irrelevant if the receivers are not where they need to be and consistently making catches in traffic. Lloyd has proven numerous times in the past that he can thrive in this role.
If we’re being honest, there isn’t much the Jets can do to salvage their passing game for this season, barring Smith shockingly having the same level of success as last season’s rookie quarterbacks. However, signing Lloyd would go a very long way towards making the passing attack respectable, and he would take an enormous amount of pressure off of whichever QB ends up under center.
The Jets still have a little bit of salary cap space to play with, and Lloyd may have lost hope of signing with a contender. An incentive-laden one-year contract could be a perfect agreement for the two sides, and it would go a long way towards proving the Jets are serious about fixing their woeful offensive unit.