Jets reportedly interested in Emmanuel Sanders and Jeremy Maclin
Among the potentially fixable problems facing the Jets this offseason is the team’s need for a playmaker (or two or three) at wide receiver. Jeremy Kerley led New York in receptions last season with 43, followed by David Nelson, RB Bilal Powell and a duo of tight ends.
As luck would have it, the upcoming draft is chock-full of talented WRs, and the free-agent class could feature at least a few viable options as well. Tops among the latter for the Jets may be Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin and Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders; both of whom are on the radar, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Also noteworthy in that report: The Jets do not have any real run planned at Denver’s Eric Decker. “Some people in the organization aren’t sold on Decker’s ability to be a true No. 1 receiver,” Mehta wrote, which is the same opinion the Broncos are believed to have internally. Decker could be the top WR on the market, despite a sluggish Super Bowl.
BURKE: Possible cap casualties soon to hit the market
The Jets are projected to have a decent salary cap situation headed into 2014, with a reported $22 million available. They could increase that number in the coming weeks by cutting Santonio Holmes ($8.25 million cap savings), Mark Sanchez ($8.3 million) and possibly even Antonio Cromartie ($9.5 million). Cromartie instead could be a candidate for a contract restructure.
Maclin and Sanders find themselves in very different situations with free agency approaching. The 26-year-old Sanders is coming off a career year — 67 catches for 740 yards and six touchdowns — after the Steelers matched an offer he received last offseason as a restricted free agent. Maclin, on the other hand, missed the entirety of the 2013 season after tearing his ACL last summer. How the 2009 first-round pick will be priced as a free agent remains to be seen.
New York holds the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In his Mock Draft this week, Audibles’ Doug Farrar handed the Jets tight end Eric Ebron in that spot; last month’s Audibles Mock had them selecting another TE: Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro.