In the Daily News today Mehta speculated that we may be after
Maclin (PHI) and Sanders (PIT) as WR's in free agency. We've
been mentioning Maclin for weeks because of his connection to
Mornhinweg. But possibly adding Sanders also would definitely
change our draft strategy. If we did get both I could easily
see us going defense with our first two picks and taking a
Aaron Donald DL (Pittsburgh)
Dee Ford OLB (Auburn)
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB (Nebraska)
Calvin Pryor S (Louisville)
Below is the article
Two months after the Jets’ celebratory locker room scene in Miami punctuated Rex Ryan's return for at least one more season, the team's brain trust has started targeting free agents to upgrade a lackluster offense.
The Daily News has learned that the Jets covet free agent wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders with the hope that one or both can help revamp the league's 31st-ranked passing offense from last season.
Jets receivers were among the league's worst in 2013. Geno Smith’s erratic rookie season can be attributed, in part, to the lack of difference makers in the passing game.
Ryan's top four receivers - Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Stephen Hill - combined for 126 receptions and 1,744 yards. Cleveland’s Josh Gordon racked up 98 fewer yards all by himself. Seventeen receivers and five tight ends had more touchdowns than the combined total of seven by the Jets’ quartet.
The organization is fully aware that a change is in order. Holmes isn’t part of the team's future plans. The Jets have already included the $8.25 million in savings it will get by cutting Holmes in the pool of available money for free agency, according to sources.
General manager John Idzik has about $20.2 million in cap space before Holmes’ official departure (before his $1 million roster bonus is due next month) frees up more.
The free agent wide receiver class isn't particularly strong. Don’t expect the Jets to land Eric Decker, the consensus top available wideout, when free agency begins on March 11.
The Jets may express interest in the Broncos receiver to gauge his value, but it's unlikely Idzik will pay a hefty price for him. Some people in the organization aren’t sold on Decker's ability to be a true No. 1 receiver, either.
Ryan’s future with the Jets beyond this season hinges on the offseason offensive makeover. Maclin is an intriguing and affordable game-changer if he becomes available.
Maclin missed the entire 2013 season with the Eagles after tearing his ACL during a training camp practice in late July. His familiarity with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense would make it a seamless transition. Maclin showed flashes of brilliance in four years with Mornhinweg in Philadelphia.
However, it’s unclear whether he’ll even hit the open market.
The Eagles and Maclin, a 2009 first-round pick, have discussed the possibility of returning, but it’s unclear if he can get a multi-year deal coming off his knee injury. Philadelphia also has unrestricted free agent receiver Riley Cooper, who emerged in Maclin’s absence, prompting G.M. Howie Roseman to recently admit that his team was dealing with a “complicated” situation.
Maclin, who will turn 26 this summer, has made it clear that he’d be amenable to a one-year prove-it deal, which would be music to the Jets’ ears if everything checks out medically. But would Maclin actually choose the Jets over Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense in what would amount to a showcase season for him.
“For a team that wants to give me a one-year deal, that's cool,” Maclin told Comcast Philadelphia last month. “I’ll just go out there and ball out, do the things I think I can do. Hopefully get that type of deal I'm looking for (after 2014). If a team wants to give me a long-term deal, I’ll go out there and still do the same thing.”
The Jets view Maclin (258 career catches for 3,453 yards) as a quality No. 1 receiver when healthy. Although Maclin’s only 6-0, he’s been a consistent red-zone threat in his career. More than half (14) of Maclin’s 26 career touchdowns have come inside the 20.
The Jets may have to fend off their division rivals for Sanders, whose career highs in receptions (67), yards (740) and touchdowns (six) in his first year as a full-time starter with the Steelers last season helped land him on Gang Green’s wish list too.
The Patriots signed Sanders to a 1-year, $2.5 million offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent last offseason, but Pittsburgh matched it rather than let him go and take New England's third-round pick.
At 5-11, 180 pounds, Sanders also isn’t a big-bodied receiver that the Jets need (Hill doesn’t count), but his 4.4 speed and quickness would be a solid fit in Mornhinweg’s scheme.
The Steelers tried to maximize Sanders’ run-after-the-catch ability in his fourth season. A quarter of his receptions in 2013 came on passes caught behind the line of scrimmage. Fifty-one percent came within nine yards of the line of scrimmage. Sanders also has experience as a punt and kick returner, which is an area of need for Ryan’s team.
“He’s an explosive player and he’s fast,” Bill Belichick said in the run-up to the Patriots-Steelers game in Week 9. “He’s dangerous on catch-and-run plays like tear screens, reverses and kick returns. He’s also a good route runner with quickness and obviously speed and big-play ability.”
The Steelers may be inclined to let Sanders, who will turn 27 next month, walk, to pave the way for second-year wideout Markus Wheaton. The Patriots could make another run at Sanders, especially if unrestricted free agent Julian Edelman leaves town.
Ryan admitted last week that the Jets will likely address receiver in the draft in May, but there's no doubt that one of last year’s least productive offenses needs skill-position difference makers in free agency.
I am not a fan of Sanders as all. Either way we still need to take a WR with one of our first three picks.
It all depends on the price. I don't see any #1s out there except Boldin. 2 #2 receivers would be a vast improvement for us however. I wouldn't be chasing them though. Sign 2 good players, then draft 2. Hopefully the draft picks will pan out, and that's a pretty good start light years ahead of where we've been.
I wanted Maclin to come here for the majority of the season...would love the pick up on the cheap....no guarantees he will be the same player after tearing his ACL but with today's medicine it's worth the risk IMO....
Emmanuel Sanders would be a good pickup as well......he can stretch the field...
Last edited by carlito1171; 02-07-2014 at 10:32 AM.
Don't think there is any chance of getting both unless we completely ignore other positions, but I'm a big fan of both guys, as I've said for months now.
Maclin is the guy with the most upside, and I'm a big believer that ACL injuries nowadays are basically 6 month oil changes. They don't tend to affect the player much, if at all. Too many examples now where guys have huge seasons right after the injury.