Andrew Fialkow with a breakdown of New York Jets FA signing Jamison Crowder
What it means: Crowder got a good deal, 3 years, $28.5 million with
$17 million guaranteed. This move was made in an effort to surround Sam
Darnold with as many weapons as possible going into his second year.
Crowder, just turned 26, and although he played in just 9 games last year,
he had 133 catches for 1,636 yards and 10 TDs in his previous two
seasons. Adam Gase will be able to use him a lot in short yardage
situations and for quick reads in the offense. Behind Crowder on the depth
chart are either rookie Greg Dortch, who has not made the roster yet, or
one of the depth signings of Josh Bellamy/Deonte Thompson,
exemplifying the importance of this deal.
What’s the risk/reward: This signing was a fair deal for both sides
as the Jets paid a lot to fill a need they desperately needed. Crowder will
immediately be an upgrade for Darnold in the slot over Jermaine Kearse.
Throughout his career, Crowder has posted a 67.1% catch rate, while
Kearse hauled in just 48.7% of his targets last year. He can also potentially
bring another element to the return game for the Jets if they decide to use
him for punt returns. The risk runs in the $17 million dollars guaranteed to
Crowder. Although he is young, he has a small frame for the slot at 5”9,
175 lbs. The Jets don’t have much depth behind Crowder at the slot WR
position, so it will be important that he does not miss too many games
which was a problem for him in 2018. As long as he gets back to his
longevity he proved by only missing one game in his first three seasons,
this will be a rewarding signing for the Jets.
Final thoughts: The Jets need to and did their best at going all in on surrounding Darnold with as many offensive assets, especially during his rookie contract. This building process has proved to work, for example with the Rams as they had a similar strategy in Jared Goff’s second and third year. Adam Gase runs an offense where receivers are needed to get in open space on short routes, which is where Crowder will fit in perfectly. Crowder has averaged over 10 yards per catch in his four NFL seasons proving he is effective at picking up yards after the catch. He will give the Jets another dimension in their offense they badly lacked last year. While Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa will be relied on for the deeper routes, Crowder and Le’veon Bell will be perfect safety blankets for Darnold. This core complements each other well, all with unique and different skills to add to the offense. Adam Gase will need to scheme around each of the players strengths. If so, the Jets who still lack a “number one reciever”, will have a lot of offensive success. Crowder should see 4-8 targets a game from the start, and if he can stay healthy will be relied on continuously throughout the season for the Jets