Denzel Mims, New York Jets
Denzel Mims, New York Jets, Getty Images

Mims has had an uneven Jets career marred by injuries and poor effort

The next chapter in the saga of New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims appears imminent.

The 2020 second-round pick has officially requested a trade via his agent.

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.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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mlesko73
mlesko73
1 month ago

It’s unfortunate that Douglas couldn’t have kept this situation from getting to this point. With Mims asking for a trade publicly it hurts our ability to negotiate a fair trade.
I was a big Mims supporter and had hoped it would work out, but it is time to cut bait. Get what we can and move on.

mlesko73
mlesko73
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

I just meant working a trade quietly before he went public w/ a demand which diminishes our negotiating power; not giving him more snaps

dudizt
dudizt
1 month ago

I heard Alex Leatherwood is potentially on the block. What are your thoughts on a 1 for 1 swap on disappointing picks? Mims for Leatherwood

dudizt
dudizt
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

I know he wasn’t great, otherwise I wouldn’t think they’d take mims for him. The penalties are a huge issue, but a lot of players take time to develop and it’s only 1 year. Maybe better gamble than a conditional 6 or 7.

dudizt
dudizt
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Ya that’s a fair point too. Jenkins would be a better scheme fit and Douglas always seems to find the best fit.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

I know Mims isn’t a high value asset but Jenkins’ back problems concern me. I wonder what Mims is worth? This is a classic case of WR drafted for a different offense not working out. Sprinkle in the Mims bad luck, seemingly poor attitude and we have the current situation. No use keeping him, this isn’t a matter of pride. If he’s not one of the best players and doesn’t fit the team culture then cut bait.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Read something about Leatherwood being a much better zone blocker than gap, which could be part of the problem in Vegas. They are a gap scheme team with McDaniels

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
1 month ago

Hello Rivka, I wanted to get your take on Cager maybe playing the WR position again. He’s been able to get open as a TE and he was a similar skill set to Mims. If not, Who do you think would make the team as the 5th WR?