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2019 Jets Free Agency Profile: Cole Beasley

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Michael Nania takes a look at the Cowboys slot weapon

NFL: New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2019 Jets Free Agency Profile series! Up until the start of the 2019 free agency period in March, I’ll be running through a bunch of names the Jets could potentially bring in with their hoard of cap space. Let’s get into it!


Name: Cole Beasley

Birthday/Age: April 26th, 1989 (age 30 on September 1st)

Height/Weight: 5’8, 180

FA type: Unrestricted

College: SMU (signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 draft)

Team(s): Cowboys (2012-18)

Position/usage: Slot receiver

2018 stats: 16 games, 65 catches, 87 targets, 672 yards, 3 touchdowns. 74.7% catch rate, 10.3 yards per reception, 7.72 yards per target (50th / 81 wide receivers with 50+ targets), 109.0 passer rating when targeted (19th)

Playoffs: 2 games, 4 catches, 5 targets, 43 yards, 0 touchdowns

Previous salary: Signed a 4 year, $13,606,000 contract with Dallas prior to the 2015 season. $4.3M cap hit in 2018

Comparable contracts:

2018 - Michael Crabtree (age 30, signed 3 year, $21M deal with Baltimore)

2018 - Jordy Nelson (age 33, signed 2 year, $14M deal with Oakland)

2016 - Mike Wallace (age 30, signed 2 year, $11.5M deal with Baltimore)

2015 - Dwayne Bowe (age 30, signed 2 year, $12.5M deal with Cleveland)

2015 - Greg Jennings (age 31, signed 2 year, $8.0M deal with Miami)

Jets connections: SMU teammate of Kelvin Beachum, Cowboys teammate of Morris Claiborne, also shared time in Dallas with new Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack

Measurables (via mockdraftable.com):

Pros:

  • Durablity. Since 2014, has played in 84 out of 85 possible games
  • Very efficient target - has had both a passer rating when targeted of 100.0+ and a first down rate of 40.0%+ in four of the past five seasons. That includes two seasons with a first down rate above 50.0% (extremely good) and a passer rating when targeted above 115.0
  • Zero fumbles over past three seasons
  • The 5’8 Beasley is the classic slot weapon. He’ll get out there and take corners to school in the short to intermediate range with lateral routes towards the sideline and over the middle of field.

He loves to work the pivot route, which you see from here as he lines up slot left and schools the safety with the jab inside and the pivot outside.

Beasley loves to eat over the middle as well. This time he beats the slot corner from the right side.

Cons:

  • Not a good YAC weapon. Has not ranked near the top of the league in YAC/reception in any of the past three seasons, and has had a negative YAC +/- (average YAC versus expectation) in each of those three seasons
  • Beasley will soon be 30 years old and has fewer than 1000 yards over his past two regular season campaigns combined. Among wide receivers, he’s 38th in receptions, 57th in receiving yards, and 48th in receiving touchdowns over the past two seasons. His career high for receiving yards is just the 833 he accumulated in 2016, the only time he has surpassed 700. He probably isn’t the type of player you want to splurge big money on

Beasley is a nice piece to have in the slot. He doesn’t do all that much, but what he does do, he does pretty well.

I am a big believer in the notion that the Jets need to add a true slot weapon this offseason, so Beasley does fit that bill. If his age drags his price down, he could turn out to be one of the better values out there.

Adam Humphries is projected by Spotrac to command a deal worth upwards of $10.4M/year this offseason.

Over the past three seasons:

Beasley: 47 games, 176 catches, 248 targets, 1819 yards, 12 touchdowns, 110 first downs, 0 fumbles (with Dallas ranked 30th in passing attempts)

Humphries: 47 games, 192 catches, 271 targets, 2069 yards, 8 touchdowns, 112 first downs, 6 fumbles (with Tampa Bay ranked 3rd in passing attempts)

Of course, Humphries is four years younger than Beasley. As is Jamison Crowder. And Golden Tate has been substantially more productive despite being older than Beasley.

I think all three of those guys definitely present higher upside than Beasley does. Price being equal, I’d certainly prefer each of them to Beasley. With that said, since the free agent wide receiver market lacks a true star, the value of players like Humphries will be inflated greatly.

That could leave the best value finds down in the lower tiers, with guys like Beasley.

The Jets are in a position where they can afford to make a few overpays to acquire better talent, but the wide receiver position might be one of the spots where it’s best to make the value play.

Poll

Five being the highest, how intrigued are you by the idea of the Jets adding Cole Beasley?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    5
    (24 votes)
  • 20%
    4
    (67 votes)
  • 38%
    3
    (127 votes)
  • 21%
    2
    (72 votes)
  • 11%
    1
    (39 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now