The New York Jets made a rather curious decision earlier this offseason to sign Josh McCown to be their starting quarterback. He could be viewed by some as a bridge quarterback, but there’s not a whole lot to offer inspiration. Now, it seems pretty clear what’s up.
On Tuesday, the Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker and linebacker Davis Harris. They join WR Brandon Marshall, C Nick Mangold, CB Darrelle Revis, and OT Breno Giacomini in getting released over the past three months. Some of these players are at or approaching over the hill, and given the rebuilding process in place in New Jersey, it’s not surprising the Jets would cut some of these players loose.
And rebuilding process is putting it mildly. I don’t see how this is anything but the Jets front office hoping for the number one pick next season. They’ve got young players to evaluate, and some might emerge, but this is a team in serious rebuilding mode.
Decker is an intriguing prospect. He just turned 30 and missed 13 games with hip and shoulder ailments this past season. In 2015, he played 15 games and had 80 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns. Between 2012 and 2015, he had three seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and double digit touchdowns.
Marquise Goodwin is getting a chance at the No. 2 spot next to Pierre Garçon, with Jeremy Kerley likely the early front-runner in the slot. Goodwin could not get a lot of opportunities in Buffalo, but seems excited about his potential role this year in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
The 49ers are reportedly not making any kind of significant push to recruit free agent Jeremy Maclin. It’s possible Eric Decker could get a look, but the 49ers might be comfortable seeing what their current group can do. I’ve mentioned how this offense in general feels like a “bridge” offense, and maybe they’re comfortable seeing what they can do in 2017 before making any more notable splashes at wide receiver.
It is of course worth noting that other teams can offer money and a chance to compete for a playoff berth in 2017. The 49ers could very well have interest in Maclin and/or Decker, but that does not mean the receivers will reciprocate that interest.