Assessing the Roster- Wide Receiver Tweet
Santonio Holmes- Nobody expected that things would have been this bad with him when they signed him. He was unproductive and a locker room problem in 2011 and then was injured in 2012. Holmes is talented. Is he a pure 1? Probably not. He doenst have great hands and his size is not the size you would like in a number 1 target. Still there are few of those players in the NFL and Holmes does have speed to be a home run player if utilized that way. The Jets cast him wrong in the 2011 offense. You cant put a player with suspect hands in a situation where he is going to be responsible for catching the ball in traffic and moving the chains. Its cant work.
Part of that I think is also mental with him. He certainly fits into the diva WR category and those are players who want to be on SportsCenter Sunday nights. If you throw Holmes a bad pass around the goal he will make incredibly athletic grabs to get that touchdown. If you throw that same pass elsewhere on the field he probably stops his route with the ball mid-flight. Itís the nature of the position I guess. He needs reward plays (i.e. big passes down the field) to keep his head focused in games. The Jets did that in 2010 and got away from it afterwards. He can easily be a Santana Moss quality player which will justify some of the backend salaries but not the way he is currently utilized.
Stephen Hill- If the Jets were trying to contend this past season Hill should not have been on the field. If they were trying to prepare for the future, Hill got some experience which is good. The positive with Hill is that you can see the physical ability he has to separate from coverage. He has that special gear few people do. The negatives with Hill are things, though, that you may not be able to correct. He dropped over 20% of the passes that came to him, which is an incredibly high number. The actual success rate on passes thrown his way was under 46% which is pretty terrible, even when you consider the QB playing for the Jets. He was injured often and this is far more demanding a game than he ever played in college both mentally and physically.
Jeremy Kerley- I think you have to like what you see out of Kerley as a wide receiver. He makes some tough grabs and is dangerous at times when he catches the ball on the move. He is a pure slot guy and more effective than all but the biggest name slot players (Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, etcÖ) which makes him the most reliable player on the Jets offense. The downside with Kerley, and this may be more about the Jets ultra conservative offense they run, is that he is not on the field that often. He more or less just plays on downs where its going to be a pass which might indicate the Jets donít trust him as an every down player. It could also just be that the staff is inept at designing plays too. Either way he is a positive that should be featured more next season.
Braylon Edwards- Id imagine Edwards days as a starting wide receiver are over. He is now on his third team in three seasons and he was a non-impact player in San Francisco and Seattle. Edwards has name value which helps his stock with the fans as does the memory of him dragging Patriot defenders into the end zone in 2010. In football years, however, 2010 was an eternity ago. Edwards still has size and I guess some speed left but also seems to have some chronic injuries. He is a minimum salary player and I think brings tremendous stability to the locker room which means he has a place, but probably not as a starter.
Chaz Schilens- He is a minimum salary player with minimum salary talent. Schilens, when he is right, has jets to go down the field. The problem is he is often nicked up and on a play in and out basis he cant get the separation needed to be a contributor at this level. He is best suited to a number 5 role on a team. Clyde Gates- Gates is another one of those physical talent players with almost no polish to his game. Early on he made some costly blunders when he did not seem to understand what was expected of him on a play, but by years end did end up as a decent option on the team. He can stretch the sidelines but I donít see him as a player who will ever be able to catch a ball while moving and take off with it. I think he is more of a stop and catch player. Reminds me a bit of David Clowney in that he is enough of a tease to last awhile but never amount to anything. Doubtful he will have a place if Hill and Holmes are both healthy next season.
Jordan White - White has bounced back and forth between the active roster and practice squad this season. Not much is expected from him.
Overall Of this group I think Kerley is the only keeper. He and Holmes are the only two that would start with other teams right now, but Kerley doesnít have the baggage Holmes has. I tend to think Holmesí future is tied greatly to who the Jets bring in to play QB. If it is Sanchez I do not think that dynamic can work. Holmes is too demanding and Sanchez canít handle that. While I do think that Holmesí injury may have had an impact on the Jets overall fortunes since his injury showed the lack of depth, at the same time I donít know if Sanchez would have survived as long as he did. Things may have been even worse, if that is possible. If the QB is someone more polished then the Jets might retain Holmes.
It is a position that the Jets need to upgrade, but financially it may not be viable. Players like Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace will cost a fortune and there are teams within their own division that will be bidding for such players and they have large amounts of cap room to spare. This could also play a factor in biting the bullet one more season with Holmes. Probably a position where the Jets bring in another aging veteran to compete for snaps with Edwards and Hill playing opposite Holmes. Certainly not ideal, but if the QB position is not fixed itís not like this helps much anyway.