Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Trade, Contract, Cut
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets still have options at wide receiver after Amari Cooper trade

The New York Jets‘ list of splashy options at wide receiver continues to dwindle. On Saturday, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had agreed to trade Amari Cooper and a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick.

Cooper joins Chris Godwin (franchise tag), Davante Adams (franchise tag), Mike Williams (franchise tag), and Calvin Ridley (suspension) as hypothetical big-fish Jets targets who have already come off the board.

Regardless, there are still plenty of good options for the Jets to improve their wide receiver unit.

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (trade/cut candidate)

Following the Cooper trade, it’s been reported that Jarvis Landry is likely to leave the Browns either through a trade or a release. The Jets have already been mentioned as a possible suitor.

Set to turn 30 in November, Landry’s days as a 1,000-yard receiver are probably behind him but he can still be a sure-handed underneath target.

In 2021, Landry caught 52 of 87 targets for 570 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. He only dropped two passes, giving him a 3.7% drop rate that ranked 28th-best out of 110 qualified wide receivers.

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (free agent)

Only one wide receiver on the 2021 Dallas Cowboys roster has a season under his belt in which he averaged 75.0+ receiving yards per game.

It wasn’t Amari Cooper.

It wasn’t even CeeDee Lamb.

Nope – it was Michael Gallup.

Back in 2019, Gallup showed an incredible ceiling. In 14 games, he caught 66 passes for 1,107 yards (79.1 per game) and six touchdowns as a second-year player.

It’s been downhill since then. Gallup dipped to 52.7 yards per game in 2020 as he had to cede some targets to the incoming Lamb.

Now, Gallup enters free agency with his stock at an all-time low. He had an injury-riddled 2021 season in which he missed seven games with a calf strain and then later suffered a season-ending ACL injury in January. When healthy, Gallup averaged only 49.4 yards in nine appearances.

Gallup, 26, seems to have a strong chance of returning to Dallas. It was reported last week that he was close to signing a new deal with the Cowboys, and the space opened up by trading Cooper should help move things along.

If Gallup does become available, he offers an intriguing ceiling for the Jets or any team looking for wide receiver help.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (free agent)

Contrary to Gallup, Christian Kirk enters the market with his stock at an all-time high.

Kirk, 25, just had a career year that saw him catch 77 of 103 targets for 982 yards and five touchdowns in 17 games.

The best part of Kirk’s breakout year was his performance in 50-50 situations. Kirk was credited by Pro Football Focus with 12 contested catches on 17 contested targets, a 70.6% rate that ranked 10th-best out of 110 qualified wide receivers.

Kirk is at his best in the slot. Moving him inside was a facilitator in his 2021 improvement. He ran 79% of his routes out of the slot in 2021, a career-high by an enormous margin.

Only Cooper Kupp (1,402 yards) had more receiving yards out of the slot than Kirk (772).

New York Jets, Mock Draft Simulator, Offseason Tool, Jets X-Factor, Deebo Samuel

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (free agent)

As I broke down here, Russell Gage would solve one of the Jets’ biggest issues at the wide receiver position in 2021: their inability to defeat man coverage.

The fourth-year man averaged 2.84 yards per route run against man coverage this past season, which ranked eighth-best out of the 68 wide receivers to face at least 20 targets against man coverage.

Gage’s target frequency against man coverage proves how good of a job he did at separating in man-to-man situations. He was targeted on 34.6% of his man-coverage routes, which ranked third-best out of qualified wide receivers behind only A.J. Brown (36.1%) and D.K. Metcalf (39.2%). To be trusted enough by your quarterback to get the ball that often in isolated matchups, you have to be getting open.

The 2021 season was a nice year for the 25-year-old Gage (who turned 26 in January). In 14 games, he caught 66 of 94 targets for 770 yards and four touchdowns, averaging a career-high 55.0 yards per game. It marked the third consecutive year in which Gage set a new career-high in yards per game.

Gage ranked 17th out of 110 qualified wide receivers with a stellar average of 1.96 yards per route run. That gives him legitimate 1,000-yard upside if he gets more reps. Of the league’s 23 wide receivers to hit 1,000 yards in 2021, 12 of them averaged fewer yards per route run than Gage.

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (free agent)

Set to turn 29 in August, Allen Robinson enters free agency with his stock at a low point.

Robinson has the best ceiling of any player on this list. With three seasons of 1,100+ yards under his belt, we know he can be a star. It’s just a matter of whether those days are over or if he has more star power left in the tank.

From 2019-20, Robinson ranked fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (2,397) and receptions (200) while placing 17th in receiving touchdowns (13). He was a stud, recording back-to-back campaigns with 150+ targets, 98+ receptions, 1,110+ yards, and 6+ touchdowns for the Bears. That’s “No. 1 receiver” type stuff.

But in 2021, Robinson came crashing down. In 12 games, he caught 38 of 66 targets for 410 yards and one touchdown. He set career-lows in yards per target (6.2) and yards per game (34.2).

Robinson is a high-ceiling, low-floor option. Perhaps he signs a one-year deal in an effort to improve his stock before hitting the market again next year.

D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (free agent)

Like Michael Gallup, D.J. Chark’s appeal is based on the potential that he showed as a second-year man in 2019.

Back then, Chark caught 73 of 118 targets for 1,004 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games.

Chark has declined since that breakout year. Over the past two seasons combined, Chark has caught 60 of 115 targets for 860 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 games.

The 2021 season came to an early end for Chark due to a fractured ankle in Week 4.

Still only 25 and set to turn 26 in September, Chark is another player on this list who offers a lot of upside.

Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (free agent)

Cedrick Wilson possesses intriguing upside based on his outstanding efficiency in a limited role for Dallas.

Wilson played only 46% of Dallas’ offensive snaps across 16 appearances in 2021. Over that limited time, Wilson was able to snag 46 catches on 61 targets for 602 yards and six touchdowns.

With an average of 9.9 yards per target, Wilson ranked eighth-best in the category out of wide receivers with at least 60 targets, one spot behind Tee Higgins and two spots behind Cooper Kupp.

Wilson ranked 35th out of 110 qualified wide receivers with an average of 1.74 yards per route run. For perspective, that’s the same average as Corey Davis and Robert Woods had in 2021, while it’s only a hair behind Jaylen Waddle (1.75). There’s a chance he could be something special in a larger role.

You’ll want to play Wilson in the slot. He led all qualified wide receivers in 2021 with 90.2% of his routes being run out of the slot. Wilson carries a fairly slight 197-pound frame but is rather tall for the slot at 6-foot-2.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (free agent)

JuJu Smith-Schuster joins Chark and Gallup as yet another young player who will aim to recapture the star potential he showed in the late-2010s.

At 22 years old in 2018, Smith-Schuster burst onto the scene with 111 receptions on 166 targets for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.

Over three years since then, Smith-Schuster has caught 154 passes on 226 targets for 1,512 yards and 12 touchdowns. With those numbers coming over 33 games, he’s averaging just 4.7 receptions for 45.8 yards since 2019, a huge departure from his 6.9 receptions for 89.1 yards in 2018.

Smith-Schuster just averaged career-lows of 3.0 receptions and 25.8 yards in a 2021 season that ended after five weeks due to shoulder surgery in October. He actually returned for Pittsburgh’s Wild Card playoff game but only recorded 26 yards on five catches.

This market is loaded with high-ceiling young players who have fallen short of their potential over the past few years. Nobody matches that description better than Smith-Schuster.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

Download Jet X Mobile on the App Store and Google Play.

Want More NY Jets News & Jets X-Factor Content?

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Google/Android (Google Play) device.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Follow us on Twitter @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Join the official Jets Discord community to connect with likeminded fans.

Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
27 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago

All of these WR listed above we already have. Kirk? Elijah Moore is that probably faster. I would hate for management to get jarvis landry, wilson needs a true WR1 and none of those are it. The Jets need to TRADE picks to get that WR1 hoarding those picks does nothing for anybody. In the draft at 4 they should select “Sauce” he will not be there at 10 and trade the 10th pick or move back

Chris Cannizzaro
Chris Cannizzaro
6 months ago

Having that many slot receivers available should help us bring back barrios. Obviously idk exactly what the jets offer is but nobody is gonna give him 9 million a year with this many options right? Bring back Barrios, get Chark (or trade a late round pick for Robbie Anderson) and draft someone in the first 3 rounds and I’ll be happy.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago

Robby Anderson? Lmao

CZO
CZO
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

I mean obviously it’s not ideal but it’s better than what we have on our roster right now. 2022 salary is $10 million. If we strike out with Gauge and Chark and the Seahawks don’t want to give up DK then I don’t see a whole lot of other X receivers out there. Much rather give up a 5th rounder and pay his $10 million rather than go into this year with Mims, some low level free agent (Valdez- Scantling, Higgins, Keelen Cole) and some rookie draft pick fighting for our starting outside receiver spot.

Is there another “true WR1” out there that some team is looking to get rid of that I’m not thinking of?

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago

Get Russell Gage…the other options are either too expensive, coming off down seasons or not as good as Gage imo.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Russell Gage is another Corey Davis

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Which is a great pickup as a 3rd Wr. I would love an instant 1 at WR but Gage is a solid 2 at his position. So we have 2 #2’s and E Moore as the defacto 1 which I am fine with, as long as we shore up the TE position we can thrive.

JetOrange
JetOrange
6 months ago

Opinion but there are some very good alternatives at WR, Russell Gage, Cedric Wilson, & Valdez- Scantling. Sign two

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago

Trade for Landry. Ok the cheap. Sign Kirk.

JetOrange
JetOrange
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Cleveland 23 million Over the CAP, they will cut Landry by Monday .Great Route Runner, nice fit for this Offense, but no one will pay the money he will be looking for.

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

Great point. Wait it out on him. Gotta get this kid a vet or two. Hopefully not all bargain basement bums and retreads.

JetOrange
JetOrange
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Landry made 16.3 last year, Douglas could possibly pay half of that , but not much more for the 30 year old Landry, second week of FA if at all. Nania, has given us two very good alternatives, that are younger, and have significant upside. Cedric Wilson & Russell Gage, and let me add Green Bay’s Valdes- Scantling, that were all late round picks with still something to prove. Let Braxton Walk, sign two of the three on four year deals and let them grow with Zack

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

I’m thinking a couple older vets would be ok. I don’t think we’re SB contenders this year. And I’m keeping Berrios Tardif and Moses

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

What? And no WR1? Landry is not a WR1 at least stat wise hes not

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Landry would destroy our QB. No way!!! Too much of a diva

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Ok. I didn’t remember that bout him. Forget him

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Your right Jim, we need a solid WR1 veteran and to me that spells adam Thielen after NY didnt go after a younger Cooper.

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Yes! I hear he may be available

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

That got you hyped huh lol

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Lol. Yup. I hear their TE Conklin Is also a beast and may also be free.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

There is a yard sale about to go on in Minnesota! Dalvin Cook might be gone too

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

As long as we don’t have to take Herndon back 😝

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Yeah keep him. The project long gone. What do you think about the draft at 4 and 10?

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Players I like at and or will be happy with at 4

Hutchinson of course. Neal or Ike Jermaine Johnson. Sauce. Or maybe Trayvon walker. At 10 Burks Wilson or London. If Hamilton is still there at 10 I consider it. I also like trading back at 10 and using that extra 2 and hopefully 3 wisely.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

I like that, me personally and i hope you are watching Mr Douglas, at 4 we should get sauce Gardner. He will not be there at 10 and with the 10th pick in the draft I would either move back or trade it for a premium player(Metcalf). Not all of x factor prospects in this draft. We should inject this roster with veteran stars!

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Not a fan of hamilton, at 4 sauce and 10 either trade back or trade for a premium player like DK Metcalf

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

Both are not what Zach needs and he needs a true WR 1, landry is a diva and stunt zach growth and gage? Well tell hin to catch the ball more. Too many drops to get prime time money dor my taste.