While it’s accepted that this is a rebuilding year for the Jets, one of the major reasons the team was believed to be heading towards an ugly year was the release of a multitude of recognizable veteran names. Even though the Jets still look destined to struggle this year, are the Jets actually missing out on a lot of production? Let’s check in on some of the departed Jets.
Marshall had a down 2016 wearing green, posting touchdown and yards per game numbers that were his lowest since his rookie year. Many chalked it up to nagging injuries and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s downfall. He was expected to come into the opposite MetLife locker room and thrive with weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram taking some pressure off of him into his age 33 season.
That hasn’t happened. The Giants offense has struggled even more so than the Jets’, and Marshall has been a part of it. Through two games, he has only caught 2 of 9 targets for 27 yards and no touchdowns. Among all receivers with at least the same amount of targets so far (69 total), his average of 3.0 yards per target is dead last. He had a really crucial drop late in the Giants’ loss to Detroit, in which he bobbled an uncontested would-be 30+ yard gain.
Decker was off to a nice start in 2016 before suffering a season-ending injury. After being cut by the Jets, he took off to Tennessee and is currently listed as their number three receiver. Paired with Marcus Mariota, one of the most dangerous red zone quarterbacks in the league, you’d think Decker, a notoriously good red zone receiver, could thrive.
So far it hasn’t happened. Decker’s gotten 13 targets, tied for second on the team, catching just 6 of them for 42 yards. I mentioned Marshall was ranked dead last in yards per target through two weeks. Among the same group, Decker ranks only two spots ahead, at 3.2 yards per target.
Gilchrist is currently listed as the Texans’ backup free safety. He has a pass deflection and 4 tackles. Pro Football Focus had him as one of the team’s highest graded players in a Week 1 loss to Jacksonville.
Richardson has started both games on the Seahawks defensive line, playing mostly at 3-technique defensive tackle in Seattle’s 4-3. While he only has 6 tackles and no sacks, it seems has continued to be the off the stat sheet presence many thought he was in New York. Pro Football Focus has praised the pressure he has generated while Seahawks fans seem to appreciate what he has brought so far.
The loss of Harris might be the most impacting on the team, as his exit has had a profoundly negative impact on the middle of the defense, but he has yet to produce in New England. Harris has only gotten 4 snaps in New England’s two games, making one tackle.
The 33-year old Mangold seemed to begin taking a step back from the elite ranks in 2016, but still seemed to be playing a high level even if injuries were beginning to set in. Regardless, Mangold hasn’t been on a roster since parting ways with the Jets. He never announced a formal retirement, but his absence from an NFL roster likely has more to do with a personal decision than a lack of ability.
Like Mangold, Revis hasn’t caught on with a team yet. However, while Revis’ intentions are unclear, his situation likely has more to do with performance level than Mangold’s. Revis was not a good player last season. He simply lacked the athleticism to play serviceable cornerback, and perhaps front offices have seen that in him and passed.
The 4-time Pro Bowl left tackle retired after his one year with the Jets. After two major surgeries, he clearly wasn’t able to get back to his former elite level last season.
Has the production level of the Jets’ castoffs changed your opinions on their releases at all?