If the Jets acquire 49er Deebo Samuel, he has the potential to be the –or one of – best wide receivers in Jets’ history.
That list is truly debatable (see below).
The 26-year-old Samuel caught 77 passes for 1,45 yards with six touchdowns and a league-high 18.2 yard per catch average. He also was a rushing threat with 365 yards and eight touchdowns.
Samuel can give the Jets a truly unique threat they arguably have never had, one that can ignite an offense that has been on fumes the past three seasons.
He also would be reunited with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, who was his receivers coach in San Francisco from 2019-20.
It looks like a perfect fit, but should the Jets offer a package that could involve their fourth and/or 10th round pick as well as a No. 1 from next year.
GM Joe Thomas will have to quickly decide whether or not to pull the trigger with the draft around the corner, and the receiver-hungry Packers in the hunt.
The Jets do have a potential game-changer in second-year receiver Elijah Moore, who they believe will have a banner year in 2022.
But as I mentioned earlier, Samuel and/or Moore can develop into one of the greatest Jets of all time. Everyone can have their own ranking system, and the easy way is to rank by the numbers.
It all depends on how far you can reach back into those Jets’ highlight reels. Here’s one man’s thoughts about some of the more notable ones over the last 50-plus years.
For me, it started with Don Maynard and George Sauer. Maynard was the star-studded, lany receiver who had the deceptive deep speed, while Sauer was among one of the first modern-day slot receivers.
After Maynard, there was Rich Caster, who became the Jets’ first hybrid. He began as an oversized 6-5 receiver who was transformed into a tight end. Top pick Jerome Barkum alos would be shifted to a tight end, and the duo coupled with legend Eddie “The Flea “ Bell.
In the 1980s, Al Toon dominated the era in which few Jets’ receivers made their mark. Running backs Freeman McNeil and Johnny Hector became threats. Wesley Walker never quite developed as expected.
A decade later, Wayne Chrebet emerged as a fan favorite and the franchise’s second all-time receiver. Rob Moore and Keyshawn Johnson were headlines with Moore having the steadier career.
Laveranues Coles also was a popular wideout in the early part of the 2000s along with Santana Moss and Jerricho Cotchery.
As you can see, the list didn’t have many dominant presences like Moore and/or Samel can become.
It all will hinge on whether Thomas decides to take the bait and bring aboard Samuel rather than try and land a top pedigree wide receiver in the draft. Does drafting Samuel take the spotlight off Moore?
Samuel is scheduled to make a modest $3.9 million, the final year of a paltry $7.2 million deal.
He will be an unrestricted free agent next season, and Thomas also has to wrestle with the thought of a big payday ahead for him.
Whatever the case, we’ll know within a week.
Jets’ fans could be welcoming a long-sought playmaker or watching a potential one continue to develop.