The Rundown: A Little Help at WR?
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
There’s no question that the Jets receiving corps is a question mark as the team head into the 2012 season and the fact that players like Santonio Holmes and others have been banged up hasn’t offered a lot of confidence in the team’s depth.
ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini wonders if the Jets wouldn’t benefit from the addition of a player like the discontented Percy Harvin of the Vikings. The Jets history with Harvin is well documented, as Cimini notes on the ESPN Jets blog:
GM Mike Tannenbaum always is aggressively looking to upgrade the roster, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he places a call to the Vikings. In June, Harvin demanded a trade. The Vikings said, “No way.” A trade would seem to make no sense for the Vikings — he’s one of their best players — but it’s worth checking out if you’re the Jets
In 2009, the Jets absolutely loved Harvin in the draft. About a week before the draft, they went to Florida for a private workout and they were blown away by his quickness and route-running ability. They liked him so much that, after picking QB Mark Sanchez at No. 5 overall, they tried to trade up into the middle portion of the first round to pick Harvin. It didn’t happen because the Jets refused to give up a future No. 1 pick.
As I see it, Harvin would be an upgrade, immediately replacing Stephen Hill as the team’s #2 receiver, but would then foist another set of issues on the team which might be difficult for them to resolve in the short term. Sparano tends to run more two receiver sets than Schottenheimer ever did and because of that, seems to favor larger targets (Hill, Schilens, Turner) in his receiving corps. Harvin would most assuredly be an addition to the Jets offense, but it might not go so smoothly for the Jets at the outset of the season, if they were to pull off a Harvin trade.
Time heals all wounds from last season and the addition of Stephen Hill might be all the answer the Jets need. Ben Reiter of SI.com visited Jets camp this week and had this observation about the Jets receiving corps for 2012 which we’ve shouted about all offseason.
The problem [in 2011] was that Holmes simply couldn’t get open, and it wasn’t entirely his fault. Holmes works best in the middle of the field, on slants and crossing patterns, but the Jets’ 2011 offense simply didn’t feature a field-stretcher who could open those up for him. That meant opposing defenses could fearlessly collapse toward the line of scrimmage, leaving Holmes little space to work, and Sanchez few passing lanes through which to find him.
In Hill, a 6-foot-4 second-round draft pick with 4.36 speed, the Jets now have their deep threat. He’s a work in progress, and his new teammates say that he has currently mastered a total of three routes. But even the idea that Hill has the ability to burn them for a 70-yard score will be enough for defenses to stretch out their coverage — and enough for Holmes to return to happiness, and productivity.
If the Jets added Harvin to their offense, I think it would be a help. Harvin is a disciplined route-runner, knows the NFL game inside and out and is just starting to peak as an NFL receiver … the timing could be spectacular. Still, it puts almost no faith in Hill’s physical gifts and some of the impression he has made so far in camp. While I’m not expecting Hill to have 20 catches tomorrow night, I do want to see how he responds against a solid secondary in Cinci and whether or not his presence does in fact clear out some space for Tone. The point is, that while adding Harvin might be nice, the compensation that he would cost the Jets to get him might not be worth it against the actual impact he’d have for the Jets in the remainder of his contract.