Jets need a playmaker, and Josh Gordon could be the answer.
By Christian Goewey, WFUV Sports
Remember when the Jets were ranked 32nd heading into the 2013 season? I think it is fair to say that the Jets have exceeded those expectations, already. In fact, I doubt that many predicted this group would be 4-4 heading into Week 9.
While this start may have fans thinking about the possibilities of not only this season but the future as well, we need to return to earth and realize the actual talent that is on this team. The defense is without a doubt strong enough to keep Gang Green in the game, as they are ranked in the top 10 in total defense. This defensive attack should continue to give the Jets enough possessions on offense to put points on the board. However, the problem with this team is that they do not have the weapons to do so.
The Jets are ranked in the middle of the league in total offense. Even though this may be better than what most suspected, it is mostly due to improved quarterback play, a solid running game, and a well-organized game plan. However, the pass game still is not prolific enough to gain serious respect from teams around the league, as the Jets rank near the bottom in pass yards per game. Eventually, this team will need talent to emerge in order to defeat the top contenders in the league.
Not only is Geno Smith a rookie quarterback but he does not have an established, “go-to” receiver. This is no slight to Jeremy Kerley because he is a solid slot receiver, who can make plays but to make this 5 foot 9 inch tall receiver your number one guy, is an absolute joke. The absence of any major offensive weapons will stunt Geno Smith’s growth and ultimately hurt his chances of being the long term solution as the signal-caller, no matter how talented he may be. I am not even taking into account the situation of Santonio Holmes, as I think it is fair to say that he has been a disappointment due to character concerns, injuries, and performance. Also, Holmes cost the Jets an awful lot of money, not to mention the fact that he is already 29 years old. With all this taken into account, I would imagine that Holmes’ days as a member of the Jets are numbered, as GM John Idzik most likely will head to another option for a primary receiver.
The route that John Idzik should take, is trading for Browns wide receiver, Josh Gordon. Gordon, a 22 year old receiver out of Baylor University, is in his second season of the NFL. Gordon has exceptional size and speed that gives him the ability to make plays. Gordon at 6 foot 3 inches tall, runs the 40 yard dash in the low 4.5’s and possesses reliable hands. However, there is no denying the negative concerns about his character. Gordon has already run into trouble in his young professional career, as he was suspended for the first two games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Although, we are only heading into Week 9 of the season, it seems as though Gordon is maturing and focused on contributing on the field. In fact, Gordon has been very productive and is already showing signs of progression and refinement in his raw skills. Gordon has 32 receptions for 582 yards and 3 touchdowns in six games, which easily exceeds the production of every offensive weapon on the Jets. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that the guys throwing Gordon the football, were Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and now Jason Campbell!
Now just imagine the kind of production the Jets could receive from Josh Gordon with a young, talented quarterback in Geno Smith throwing the ball to him. This would also elevate the play of not only Geno Smith but the whole offense, as it would take pressure off of the running game and open up the ground attack. The talented Gordon is a game changer who makes big plays, as seen with the three touchdowns he has scored so far, each over 30 yards. The positives of Gordon’s game outweigh the negative concerns about him, as his production and high ceiling are too strong to ignore.
I am not saying the Jets should make this deal at any price, however, as I believe it is vital to retain most, if not, all of their high draft picks. I do believe the Jets should strongly consider trading a second round pick for Gordon because he is just as young as most receivers in the draft and is already a proven talent. Plus, would you really want the Jets to draft another Stephen Hill in the second round, instead? Gordon would be under contract for the next two years and by then he would only be 24 years old which would provide the Jets ample time to make the ultimate decision of re-signing him as a cornerstone of the franchise.
This is a move that would send a message to the whole team, proving that they are focused on competing now and strongly contending for a championship in the very near future. It would boost the confidence of Geno Smith and the whole team. Not only does this benefit the Jets this season but more importantly, it gives hope and a foundation for the future. Even if the Jets do not end up trading for the young Browns’ receiver, they need to obtain some sort of weapon that could make an impact by the trade deadline on October 29th. If General Manager, John Idzik, wants to make his mark on this franchise, he must be willing to make bold moves in order to put this team in future contention and rescue them from their, at times, humiliating past.