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Would Tyler Lockett make sense for the Jets?

Syndication: Arizona Republic Michael Chow / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tyreek Hill may be the one that got away, but the Jets will continue to look under every rock to improve their wide receiver room.

One name doing the rounds on Twitter today is Tyler Lockett, there have been some unsubstantiated rumors on Seattle willing to part with their big-play receiver...if that is indeed the case, should the Jets be interested?

I threw out the idea on Twitter today and the majority of fans didn’t want any part of Lockett and it mainly revolved around two things:

  1. His Age
  2. His contract

Lockett will be turning 30 this year and while that’s obviously not young, I think it’s safe to assume that he still has a couple of good years in him. Although receiver isn’t a position group that ages well, of PFF’s 50 top-rated receivers last season, only two were aged 30 or older (Adam Thielen & Julio Jones).

His contract has been the more contentious issue with multiple people calling it the worst contract in the NFL. That’s taking it a touch too far for my liking, but he certainly got paid.

According to Over The Cap, Lockett’s cap number will sit at the following over the remaining years of his contract:

2022 - $10.05 million
2023 - $16.75 million
2024 - $23.95 million
2025 - $23.95 million

I don’t see a huge issue in the first two years of the contract considering Lockett was rated as the 12th best receiver in the league last year and Tyreek Hill just set the bar at $25 million a year in Miami. But what you don’t want to be doing is paying nearly $24 million to a 32 and 33-year-old receiver.

Looking into his contract a little more, you can escape the deal before those numbers kick in during the 2024 and 2025 season. If you were to cut Lockett before the 2024 season (pre-June) you would be hit with a $7.6 million cap hit but save $16.35 million. Cut him before the 2025 season, you would be hit with a $3.8 million cap hit but save $20.1 million. So while it’s not an ideal contract, it’s not this horrible beast that some are making it out to be.

One aspect at play here is that by the time you need to pay Elijah Moore, Corey Davis will be off the books and you could exit the Lockett contract to free up capital. One theory around why the Seahawks may be open to dealing Tyler is that they need to free up salary to pay DK Metcalf, the younger option and more appealing option for a team facing a rebuild.

What we haven’t touched on yet is Tyler Lockett the player.

Lockett is coming off three consecutive seasons where he’s recorded 1,000 or more yards, he’s also had 26 touchdowns over that period.

He’s a big-play threat boasting a 13.5 yards per reception average over the course of his career, and last season that number was at 16.1.

His 4.1% career drop rate is elite by anyone's standards and in 2021 he recorded just one drop on 103 targets, which equals a drop % of just 1.4%.

He’s also a career 53.5% contested catcher and in 2020 that number was up at 63.6%.

Lockett is also one of the most reliable deep threats in the league, last season he caught 51.3% of his targets over 20 yards, which was ranked 5th best in the NFL (minimum 15 targets, 43 qualifiers). That would add something a little different to the Jet's receiving core and allow Zach to flash his arm strength.

I’m not saying he would be my first choice, or even my second choice. But if the Jets did decide to trade for Lockett, I’d be pretty excited to see him in green. It wouldn’t stop me drafting a receiver, and I wouldn’t offer a lot of draft capital considering he is coming up to 30 and on a big contract, but it certainly would help Zach in year two.