2020 Boom-Or-Bust Candidates: New York Jets

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The Jets ended the year with a 5-2 record in their last seven games and were on the upward spiral as the season progressed. Nonetheless, they still have many question marks in their roster. The upcoming season, whether it’s 2020 or 2021, will provide a career-deciding challenge. If these Jets can deliver, New York could be a surprise contender in the AFC.

Breshad Perriman

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Dec 15, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) makes a touchdown reception during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The former Tampa Bay wide receiver was brought in to replace Robby Anderson after his departure to Carolina on a two-year, $20-million deal. There’s a certain similarity in the way both are utilized. Both of them are avid long-threat weapons that average more than 15 yards per reception and can provide a much-needed spark.

There’s a difference in their numbers, however. While Perriman had 17.9 yards/catch in 2019 with the Buccaneers, more than Anderson’s 15, his workload brings those stats further away from the truth. Last year, Breshad Perriman was a third-choice target behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, one of the best receiving duo in the NFL. Both pass-catchers have played four full years on the professional level – Robby has 205 receptions compared to just 95 for Perriman.

With Jamison Crowder playing a bigger role in the short-distance passing game, Breshad Perriman could be the perfect player to replace Anderson’s long-threat production. That a best-case scenario that his stats still doesn’t support. And until he stays at this level or improves with the workload of a wide receiver higher in the hierarchy, he’ll be a liability.

Avery Williamson

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Williamson was signed to a big three-year contract with the Jets in 2018. He didn’t play a single snap in 2019 due to a torn ACL and wasn’t very impressive when he did play full 16 games in 2018. He has a cap hit of $8.5 million in 2020, the biggest on the team’s payroll. That has sparked some rumors about the Jets potentially cutting him to free up $6.5 million with only $2 million of the signing bonus guaranteed.

It’s a huge year that will determine the direction of Williamson’s future in the league. A good, healthy season could land him another wealthy deal, with the Jets or another team. What’s for sure is that he needs to play well as he finally has some competition after the acquisition of the former Ravens middle linebacker Patrick Onwuasor.

Avery Williamson broke out in 2016 and 2017 with the Titans, when he recorded over 200 total tackles and nine combined quarterback hits. In his first season with the Jets, he has career-high 120 tackles but also managed to a mediocre allowed passer rating of 102.4 (67 targets). It’s an all-or-nothing season for Williamson, who’ll have to prove his place in order to get playing time.

George Fant

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Jan 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll high fives offensive tackle George Fant (74) during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional playoff at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Until the Jets draft a tackle early on, Fant is the best they have on either side on the line. He hasn’t been a regular starter since 2016 when he started ten games and took part in 63 percent of the snaps for the Seattle Seahawks.

The following offseason, Fant suffered a season-ending injury. The Seahawks would eventually trade for Texans left tackle Duane Brown and Fant would never regain his starting spot again. Instead, Pete Carroll often used him as a tight end before Fant posted seven starts in his last year.

The Jets had much work to do in order to fix a component that was pushing their offense back. Joe Douglas did a great job in the interior part with Connor McGovern and Greg Van Roten. However, business certainly hasn’t been booming on the outside against edge-rushers.

Fant signed a three-year, $30-million contract in mid-March and he could still prove to be a pleasant surprise. Nevertheless, with stars such as Jack Conklin and Bryan Bulaga on the right-tackle market, this was an underwhelming signing. The Jets need more than ever to draft a lineman with Pick 11. If Fant struggles in 2020, criticizing the decision to spend on him could sound way more credible.

On the other hand, he has proven to be really good when healthy and given the time to adapt. He needs that now more than ever after playing an inconsistent role up in Seattle. Returning to the landscape could be in the cards. However, the same goes for the possibility of a lack of playing time proving Douglas wrong with this move.

Pierre Desir

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Indianapolis Colts’ Pierre Desir (35) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Indianapolis. Indianapolis won 30-23. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Desir is ready not only to occupy a starting spot right away but to play up to his usual standards. The former Indianapolis Colt is coming off one of the most productive years in his six-year career. He was even projected to retain his starting job at cornerback. However, the Colts decided to cut him and clear $6.75 million in cap space. The Jets made the most of this opportunity.

Desir allowed a passer rating of 96.5 when in coverage, in 74 targets which is impressive. He posted a slight increase but still managed to be very solid in 66 percent of all defensive snaps. In 2018, he was even more successful with 85.6 in 83 targets and eight passes defended.

He played just 12 games last year, which could be a cause for concerns. Nevertheless, he’s ready to surprise many and even elevate the Jets secondary, bringing the boom to the passing defense.

Quincy Enunwa

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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs with the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars corner back Jalen Ramsey (20) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Enunwa was one of the best Jets players when actually being in a game. Unfortunately, a series of injuries have kept him from fulfilling his potential and become a dominant force in the Jets receiving force.

Quincy Enunwa started 13 games and recorded 857 yards in 105 catches in a breakout 2016 season. Since then, it’s all been downhill. It all started with his first neck injury, which causes him to miss the entire 2017 campaign. Then he played just 11 games in 2018 and participated in just a single meeting in 2019 due to his second neck injury.

The 2019 season is the last for him with any sure guarantees. The Jets could release him prior to the fifth day in 2021, paying him just $3.6 million over two years, per Spotrac. He needs to stay on the field – the only thing keeping him from shining as a pass-catcher. Should he do that, the Jets’ wide-receiving core is likely getting an upgrade in 2020 from this change alone.


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