The Jets will be looking this offseason to upgrade a passing offense that was one of the league’s worst in 2013, and have particular interest in two free agent receivers, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. According to Mehta, the Jets “covet” Jeremy Maclin of the Eagles and Emmanuel Sanders of the Steelers. Both players are eligible for unrestricted free agency next month.
While we haven’t heard much on the likelihood of Sanders returning to Pittsburgh, Eagles GM Howie Roseman hinted this week that there’s a chance Philadelphia may not retain both Maclin and Riley Cooper this offseason. After missing the 2013 season due to a torn ACL, Maclin figures to come cheaper and may be available on a one-year, make-good deal, which makes him a strong candidate to return to the Eagles, but also could make it easier for the Jets to outbid Philadelphia and other rival suitors.
As Mehta notes, the Jets’ top four receivers this past season – Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, and Stephen Hill – combined for just 126 catches and 1,744 yards, barely outpacing the individual stats of the league’s top receivers. Holmes, the highest-paid of that group, won’t be back in New York next season, at least not at his current price. The Jets can free up $8MM+ by cutting Holmes, and Mehta hears from sources that the club has already factored that amount into its pool of available free agent money.
While adding playmaking receivers will be a priority for the Jets this spring, the team is unlikely to be heavily in the mix for Eric Decker, says Mehta. New York may reach out to Decker and his reps to gauge the Denver receiver’s value, but there are those within the Jets organization who question his ability to be a true No. 1, according to Mehta.
Given the influx of talent required at the position, wide receiver figures to be an area of focus for the Jets in May’s draft as well as in free agency.