Although the Jets’ struggles continued this season, they put a kick returner on the All-Pro team for the second time in four years. Braxton Berrios followed Andre Roberts‘ offering, and after the team opted not to keep Roberts in 2019, a path for Berrios to stay has formed.
An unrestricted free agent in March, Berrios can only negotiate with the Jets until the legal tampering period begins. The sides have discussed a deal for Berrios to stay, the young receiver/return man said during an appearance on Pardon My Take (via SNY). “We’ve talked,” Berrios said, though he is not committed to working out a deal with the Jets.
“I don’t look at it as, like, ‘Oh, I want to go to this division or this conference,'” Berrios said. “That’s not where my head’s at, at least. … It’s two sides [in negotiations]. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens.”
Berrios, 26, did praise the current Jets coaching staff, Robert Saleh in particular, and has carved out a key role during Joe Douglas‘ GM regime. The former Patriots UDFA addition will have an interesting market, with the cap set to spike near $210MM after 2021’s pandemic-induced reduction.
The ex-Miami Hurricane scored five touchdowns, in three varieties, in his third Jets season and finished as the NFL’s leader in yards per kick return (30.4). His 102-yard score in the Jets’ Week 16 win over the Jaguars increased that figure significantly. For a Jets squad that played without Corey Davis and Elijah Moore for extended periods, Berrios stepped in as a receiver as well. He finished with 46 catches for 431 yards and two TDs — one coming during the team’s near-upset over the Buccaneers in Week 17 — while adding two rushing scores. Berrios did not play in New York’s finale due to a quadriceps injury.
New York has Davis and Moore locked up long-term, but a deal with Berrios makes sense. Given Denzel Mims‘ lack of development, the team figures to still have a receiver need even if it does re-up Berrios. Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole (896 receiving yards between them) are also set for free agency.