Mims has had an uneven Jets career marred by injuries and poor effort
The 2020 second-round pick has officially requested a trade via his agent.
Statement from Ron Slavin, agent for #Jets WR Denzel Mims, asking for a trade or release for the 2020 second-round pick. Mims has 31 catches on 67 targets in 20 career games. pic.twitter.com/KhiI5LItF1
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 25, 2022
When the Jets drafted Mims with the No. 59 overall pick out of Baylor in 2020, he was a popular sleeper pick to become a star. Fans were hopeful that the franchise’s long history of second-round busts, especially on the offensive side of the ball, was coming to an end.
Injuries marred Mims’s rookie season. He missed the first seven games with multiple hamstring injuries. However, in nine games (eight starts), he put up 23 receptions for 357 yards. He flashed the big-play and contested-catch potential that made him such an enticing prospect.
However, the winds began to turn on Mims starting in the 2021 offseason. A bout of food poisoning led to significant weight loss. Already in training camp and preseason, Mims appeared to be in head coach Robert Saleh‘s doghouse. Whispers of his inflexibility with positions, inability to play special teams, and poor knowledge of the playbook abounded.
Mims’s second season was a real fall from grace. He posted just eight receptions for 133 yards in 11 games played. Even worse, he was called for five penalties in 279 offensive snaps, most of them showing an incredible lack of awareness. He also had two drops on only 23 targets.
This offseason, speculation has whirled about Mims getting traded or released. He has had an up-and-down camp and preseason, posting some nice catches but also dropping passes and getting called for penalties. He has not appeared to be working hard to make the roster, despite his agent’s protestations to the contrary.
It remains to be seen if Joe Douglas will accede to Mims’s request. Finding a trade partner may not be so easy after the horrid tape Mims put up last year. Furthermore, Douglas may not want to part with a former second-round pick without at least a somewhat decent return, which may be difficult to come by.
Since the Jets have insisted they are not releasing Mims, it’s likely that they will try to trade him. As with Sam Darnold in the 2020 offseason, it’s possible that another team bets on Mims’s talent and acquires him. It’s hard to imagine a return of anything more than a late-round pick, but stranger things (a la Chris Herndon and Blake Cashman) have happened.
It’s a shame that such a promising talent had to fall so precipitously. But in this “Not For Long” league, a lack of effort will doom even the most talented of players. (Just ask JaMarcus Russell.) Hopefully, Mims can resurrect his career elsewhere and the Jets can move on.