They might never admit it in public, but I bet the Jets never would have signed Derrick Mason if they could do it all over again. They would probably roll with Jeremy Kerley as the third receiver out of training camp. For his part, Kerley was probably one of the few people sad to see this Jets season end. He was starting to come into his own at the end of the year.
Early in the year, Kerley was somewhat quiet. He was certainly contributing. The few catches he made tended to be drive extenders on third down. He certainly went on to a flourish the last two weeks, though, developing chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Jeremy had 9 combined catches against the Giants and Dolphins, and he could have had even bigger numbers with better accuracy from Sanchez. Beyond that, he looked like an explosive playmaker. He broke a 16 yard run on an end around in South Florida. He hit a 41 yard pass out of the Wildcat, a perfect throw even when he was under a bit of pressure. While shaky early in the year on punt returns, he looked much more comfortable late in the year, a credit to Mike Westhoff. Kerley stopped taking his eye off the ball to see the gunners. He started focusing on securing the catch before anything else. The results showed. He ended the season with a 10.8 average on punt returns. That rates eighth among guys with at least 25 returns.
Kerley was surely a good replacement for the multidimensional threat Brad Smith was for this team and was more productive and more explosive than Jerricho Cotchery in 2011. I am looking forward to seeing him improve with experience. He might not break out to the degree Victor Cruz did for the Giants, but him developing into a good starter is not out of the question. He is also very cheap on a fifth round contract.
I vote stay. How do you vote?