We heard earlier this month that the Jets want slot receiver Jamison Crowder — who is entering the final year of his contract — to take a significant pay cut. Today, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports that New York wants to reduce Crowder’s 2021 salary by at least 50%.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old receiver is due to make a non-guaranteed $10MM this year, and the Jets want to pay him a maximum of $5MM instead. And it appears that Gang Green has plenty of leverage. At this point in the year, most teams don’t have a ton of money to spend, so it would be hard to imagine another club paying Crowder more than $5MM for the 2021 campaign. Plus, the Jets could clear over $10MM of cap space with a minimal dead money hit if they were to release Crowder, and New York reportedly feels comfortable with its receiving corps even without him in the picture.
According to Cimini, second-round rookie Elijah Moore — another slot receiver — was one of the best players on the field during OTAs, and fellow slot man Braxton Berrios also looked good. Of course, the Jets made a big-money free agent addition to the WR room in Corey Davis, and they also brought in Keelan Cole, so they’re content to play hardball with Crowder.
On the other hand, the team has plenty of cap space as is and will deploy rookie QB Zach Wilson under center. Even if there is some redundancy in the slot, it would be understandable if the Jets wanted to keep an established veteran like Crowder just in case Moore isn’t quite ready to shoulder the load. But since GM Joe Douglas doled out $80MM in guaranteed money in free agency, the club might prefer to save some cash, especially since it remains interested in free agent OT Morgan Moses (who recently visited with the Jets).
Cimini suggests that Crowder and the club could agree to a restructure, though such a maneuver wouldn’t preclude the Jets from trading Crowder if Moore continues to perform well in training camp and the preseason.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.