We can't go into the season with a rookie quarterback and Chansi Stuckey as our No. 2 receiver, can we?
Of course we can't. Sure we have Brad Smith and David Clowney as other receiving options, but they can't be counted on. Best case scenario we land a legitimate No. 1 like Anquan Boldin or Plaxico Burress, though I don't expect that to happen.
That leaves us with free agency. In this post, I'd like to take a look at some of the interesting options that remain on the market. Ideally the Jets need a big target for Mark Sanchez, a receiver that can aid the youngster's development and maturation. Burress would be perfect, but as I said, I can't see it happening.
Let's take a look at some of the sleepers:
Malcom Floyd, formerly of the San Diego Chargers
If we can't acquire a top-tier wideout, then this is the guy I want. Floyd showed flashes of brilliance last year when he filled in as a starter for injured Chris Chambers. He's very tall with a lengthy wingspan, and he's the type of receiver that can help Sanchez when he makes a mistake.
Malcom's an excellent redzone target, and he's perfect for the fade pattern. He loves to go up and get it. His weakness is questionable footspeed.
Amani Toomer, formerly of the New York Giants
Yes he's a tad on the old side, but "Well-Dressed" Amani is reliably consistent. He would bring experience and stability to New York's other team, and could serve as an offensive mentor to Sanchez.
He can still get it done on the field, too.
Brandon Lloyd, formerly of the Chicago Bears
If not for an ill-timed injury in the middle of the season, Lloyd was headed toward a breakout year in '08. He and Kyle Orton had developed nice chemistry in Chicago, and Lloyd put up No. 1 receiver numbers for a few weeks.
It remains to be seen if he can recover fully from the injury, but if he does, he has the natural ability to improve the Jets' receiving core.
Matt Jones, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars
He certainly comes with some personal baggage, but if he can get his head on straight he can be a solid NFL receiver. Like the aforementioned Floyd, he's a big boy. Jones would be a nice target for Sanchez, and he likes to climb the ladder as well.
Darrell Jackson, formerly of the Denver Broncos
There are better veterans out there (i.e. Marvin Harrison), but Jackson would come as a bargain after being shoved aside in Denver. With Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and Brandon Stokley receiving the vast majority of the targets last year, there was little need for D-Jax.
He was a successful No. 1 receiver not too long ago. He'd be worth a look as a Renaissance candidate.
D.J. Hackett, formerly of the Carolina Panthers
D.J.'s always had the ability, but he's one of the most injury prone players in the NFL. When he finds his way onto the field, he produces statistically. Unfortunately that production is all too rare.
Jerry Porter (former Jaguar) and Koren Robinson (former Packer)
These guys are basically the same. They've both had discipline problems in the past, and they've both shown tremendous athletic ability. Koren's the better bet right now, but neither can be considered "safe" options.
That does it for me. What do you think?
("JFro," aka John Frascella, is the author of "Theo-logy: How a Boy Wonder Led the Red Sox to the Promised Land."
It's the first full-length book centered on Boston Red Sox's popular
general manager Theo Epstein. Preview it online at Amazon.com, Barnes
and Noble or Borders. It's currently stocked in Barnes and Noble stores
throughout the U.S.)