The Jets have agreed to a one-year deal with wide receiver Keelan Cole, who most recently played with the Jaguars.
Joe Douglas isn’t done adding weapons on the offensive side of the ball.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets and former Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole have agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.5 million.
Former Jaguars’ WR Keelan Cole to the Jets on a one-year, $5.5 million deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
This move comes after the Jets agreed to terms with wide receiver Corey Davis on a three-year deal earlier this week. The Jets reportedly have also spoken with free-agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who’s yet to sign a deal with any team.
Cole caught 55 balls for 642 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games with Jacksonville last year. He originally went undrafted in 2017 out of Kentucky Wesleyan.
The 27-year-old can take on a slot receiver role for the Jets, so it’s unclear if they’re still considering Smith-Schuster, but it’s a possibility. After finishing last in total offense and scoring last season and 31st in passing, the organization needs new and improved offensive weapons. This will especially be the case if the Jets employ either Sam Darnold or Zach Wilson at quarterback in 2021 — either would need to undergo on-field development and thus require assistance in order to make progress with that daunting task.
With Douglas making moves at the receiver position, it’s only a matter of time before the team potentially parts ways with veteran wideout Jamison Crowder. The 27-year-old possesses an $11.375 million cap hit in 2021 but the Jets would save over $10 million by cutting him (Crowder’s dead cap charge would be just $1 million).
Given Cole’s contract and a possible deal for Smith-Schuster, Douglas could make Crowder a cap casualty as the 2021 free agency period progresses.
All these receiver signings additionally make it unclear what the Jets may do at No. 2 overall if they decide to pass on Wilson and keep Darnold. Would they target tight end Kyle Pitts? An offensive tackle such as Penei Sewell? Maybe trade out of the second pick and garner a number of extra selections?
If the Jets do end up choosing Wilson, expect them to then focus on the defensive side of the ball with their No. 23 overall pick and draft an edge rusher or defensive back (Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari and South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn may be available).