The New York Jets have brought back receiver Jeremy Kerley on a one-year deal. It’s a move that improves the receiving unit in the short-term, but could also take away reps from the two talented rookie receivers the Jets drafted this year, ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen.
Kerley was, of course, drafted by the Jets in 2011. He was a productive slot receiver and a frustrating punt returner with a bad habit of calling a fair catch on almost every punt even if it was on his own five-yard-line.
In 2014 ex-GM John Idzik signed Kerley to a four-year deal, but because ex-offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, under new GM Mike Maccagnan, valued bigger receivers the Jets let Kerley go and the receiver signed with the Lions. The Lions then quickly traded Kerley to the 49ers where Kerley was one of their most dependable receivers catching 64 passes for 667 yards and three touchdowns last season.. In March of this year the 49ers signed Kerley to a three-year $10.5 million contract but decided to release him as the made cuts to trim their roster to 53 players.
Since time is a flat circle Kerley has come back to his original NFL home with the Jets. Kerley will now join a receiving core with Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Stewart, Hansen, Damore’ea Stringfellow and Jalin Marshall once he returns from suspension (also Kalif Raymond but he will serve as a returner much more than a receiver).
The additions of Kerley and Kearse give the Jets some actual experience in the receiving unit but probably not enough talent to make much of a difference to help them win many more games this season. They will also likely cut into the development of the two rookie receivers at least a little bit so the move is a little confusing because once again it seems like the Jets can’t fully commit to the tank so they keep doing just enough to hinder future development while not doing enough to actually improve their record this season.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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