The New York Jets are reuniting with an old friend. Veteran wide receiver Jeremy Kerley is coming home.
We've signed WR Jeremy Kerley and waived FB Julian Howsare.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 5, 2017
The 28-year-old returns to the Jets after spending just one season away from the organization with the San Francisco 49ers.
A fifth-round pick by the Jets in 2011, Kerley was both a productive offensive and special teams weapon. Over his five seasons with Gang Green, he caught 182 passes for 2,225 yards and nine touchdowns while also serving as the team’s primary punt returner.
However, the end of Kerley’s first run with the Jets didn’t end on a good note. When Chan Gailey took over as the team’s offensive coordinator before the 2015 season, Kerley suffered. He found himself as an odd-man out in the Jets’ offense, as he posted career-lows in receptions (16) and receiving yards (152). He was released after the season.
Looking to rejuvenate his career, Kerley signed with the 49ers. He was productive, hauling in 64 catches for 667 yards. Kerley signed a three-year extension during the offseason but was ultimately released as the rebuilding club decided he was no longer a fit.
Bringing Kerley back makes sense for the Jets. They needed more depth and experience at receiver, and he can potentially still help the team returning punts.
With a new offensive coordinator in John Morton, it will be interesting to see how Kerley fits into the team’s offensive scheme. If he can rekindle his past success, this could wind up being one of the best moves of general manager Mike Maccagnan’s reign.