The New York Jets continued to be active with their roster building by bringing back wide receiver Jeremy Kerley today on a 4 year extension. Kerley will receive 16 million over the 4 years with 5.4 million guaranteed.
Kerley has been the team’s most productive and consistent receiver since the middle of the 2011 season, when he was first given the opportunity to play offense. After catching a touchdown in his debut in week 5 of that season against New England, Kerley had 4 or more receptions in 5 of his final 9 games in 2011. In 2012, he was the only quality skill position offensive player on the team finishing with 56 receptions, 827 yards and 2 touchdowns while dealing with an imploding Mark Sanchez, a Tim Tebow package and Greg McElroy.
Last season, Kerley was banged up and played in only 12 games. However, he was still the team’s leading receiver and they were 8-4 with him in the lineup, while being 0-4 when he didn’t suit up. Kerley started this season productively with 15 receptions over the first 3 weeks for 141 yards and a touchdown. He has been quiet the past month but that doesn’t erase the work over the previous 38 games. Don’t fall victim to recency bias. Kerley is a valuable part of this offense.
With Eric Decker, Kerley and Jace Amaro now locked up for the foreseeable future, and Percy Harvin in line to be if he can be productive over the next 9 games, the Jets have a very legitimate group of pass catchers to build around. Continuity is important at the position and the team has not had this situation there in a long time. Kerley is a proven, productive player as a Jet and it always ideal to keep your homegrown talent, particularly on a fair market value contract.
Internally, the Jets biggest priorities remain Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison both of whom are in line for new contracts in the coming months. The Harvin trade and Kerley extension are nice wins for a Jets front office that has been under criticism, some warranted and some misguided and unwarranted.