The New York Jets cut WR Eric Decker earlier this offseason. With a rash of injuries, could gang green be feeling some regret?
Like a sack of used and abused potatoes — that’s exactly how Eric Decker was dumped after his roller coaster ride with the New York Jets.
After pouring his blood, sweat and tears into the organization that gave him his huge pay day following his Denver stint, he gets his pink slip.
163 receptions, 2183 yards, and 19 touchdowns in a Jets uniform.
He didn’t live up to the lofty expectations of a number one wide receiver in MetLife Stadium. In year two, he blossomed as part of a tandem that destroyed the NFL record books. Unfortunately for Decker, his final campaign was marred by injuries.
During their purge, the Jets cut bait with the 30-year-old old wide receiver. He didn’t fit the methodology of tanking and the Jets could save some money in the process.
Fast forward a couple of months and the Jets are in a pickle. They wanted to accelerate their youth movement and development by getting rid of excess roster money but still balance developing a franchise quarterback in the making.
It was a dangerous game that has come to a screeching halt. Why? The only real proven talent on the team, Quincy Enunwa, is out for the season with a bulging disk. back to the drawing board.
Back to the drawing board.
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I got several checks to the hip on my way to the proverbial basket:
- Why would the Jets trade for somebody? Let the young guys play!
- Why would the Jets trade for someone? This season doesn’t matter!
For those who are unaware, there are typically at least three wide receivers on the field at any given time on offense. If you replaced one of those young guys with a veteran, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Secondly, this season doesn’t matter? Just because the front office carved the roster doesn’t mean this year doesn’t matter. Quite the contrary — this season is ultra important in determining who stays and who goes.
That conversation could extend beyond the players, but we’ll leave that out of this. I will lace up my boxing gloves and square off with anyone, anywhere and anytime about the purpose of this season.
It’s clear as day that the purpose of this season is proving whether or not Christian Hackenberg is the guy. You can’t do that with young guys at wide receiver.
For those who say maybe one of the young guys will blossom into a high-end number or a low-end number one, maybe. But maybe not. Why hope that someone will pan out and hope he’s a reliable target for Hackenberg?
The Jets must get someone who is reliable. Someone that can provide some veteran savvy so Hackenberg can be properly evaluated.
Who does that sound like? Eric Decker.
With Enunwa out for the season, the Jets need a high-end two or a low-end one. Decker fits that mold perfectly, and it wouldn’t have cost the Jets any draft compensation. They thought they had a reliable enough receiving corps and tried to save their bottom dollar.
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Now that narrative is biting them in the tuchas.
To acquire that sort of talent, they’ll either have to rely on a cap casualty during preseason roster cutdowns or hope to acquire someone from another team.
The Jets need to do this because their current crop of receivers won’t get the job done. Whether fair or unfair, the Jets have 16 games to judge Hackenberg. For better or for worse, the Jets will be selecting a quarterback in next year’s loaded class. Those are facts.
If the Jets don’t go get someone and Hackenberg performs subpar because of his lack of talent around him, there’ll be regret. That’s especially true if Hackenberg gets released or traded after this season and has success elsewhere.
There’s a lot of variables, and in a season that’s about development, nurturement, and progress, it’s important to figure it out. In a season like this, I typically wouldn’t want to trade assets to acquire veteran talent. It seems to go against the grain.
But in this scenario, it’s worth the mid round pick. I’m not saying cough up a high draft pick and if teams are trying to take advantage, you just hang up the phone. But it’s definitely worth picking up the phone and making some calls. Although the Jets wouldn’t have had to do this if they just kept Decker, but I digress.
Although the Jets wouldn’t have had to do this if they just kept Decker, but I digress.