Now is the time for Jets to find a business partner for Denzel Mims

Denzel Mims stood behind a microphone Friday at Jets training camp and said he wants to be a starting wide receiver in 2022.

“That’s my only focus,” Mims said.

The question is whether he can achieve that goal as a member of the Jets.

Mims has had a tough two years with the organization since general manager Joe Douglas drafted him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. COVID-19 wiped out his rookie year’s offseason and Mims, coming out of Baylor, needed a little polish and would have benefited from these spring practices.

The coach who drafted him, Adam Gase, was fired after his rookie year and Mims got off to a bad start with the new coaching staff after food poisoning cost him most of the coaching session. spring in 2021. This led to a lost second. season for Mims which featured him inactive, buried on the depth chart and then running out of time due to COVID-19.

Mims spent the past offseason getting into better shape, and the Jets coaches were thrilled with the job he did. He’s had some good days in training camp, showing more in the first two weeks of camp this year than all of last summer. .

“A long way, a long way,” head coach Robert Saleh said of how far Mims has come in a year. “I’m even going to tell him that he still has more in the tank, but he’s improved a lot over the past year.”

Denzel Mims catches a pass at Jets training camp.
Denzel Mims catches a pass at Jets training camp.
Bill Kostrun/New York Post

The Jets now face a dilemma with Mims. Since drafting him, here’s what they’ve done as a wide receiver: Sign Corey Davis in free agency, sign Elijah Moore in the second round, re-sign Braxton Berrios and sign Garrett Wilson in the first round. All of that leaves Mims at No. 5 wide receiver at best. He also doesn’t play special teams, despite Saleh’s wishful thinking that he’ll add that to his game.

It’s quite simple. Mims doesn’t feel like he’s part of the Jets’ long-term plan. Yes, they could keep it as insurance against injury. But trading it seems like the best thing for both parties.

Let Mims get a fresh start somewhere else where he can actually compete to be a starter and not get mostly third-team reps like he does at Florham Park. Douglas should be able to secure a late-round pick for Mims, who is just two years away from a blistering 4.38 40-yard dash going into the draft. At 6-foot-3, with a huge catching radius, Mims has gifts that can’t be trained. Surely there’s a team that loved him in the draft and would send the Jets a pick for him. The Patriots just got a 2024 seventh-round pick for N’Keal Harry. Mims still has a year left on his contract than Harry.

One of Douglas’ strengths as a general manager has been getting good returns in trades. He picked up a fourth-round pick for Chris Herndon, a sixth-round pick for Blake Cashman and two first-round picks for Jamal Adams, stunning him of all stunners.

Now he has to see what he can get for Mims, who has answered questions about his work ethic this offseason.

“He doesn’t make excuses,” Saleh said. “He squeaks. He approaches it like a professional and I am grateful to him.

Denzel Mims
Denzel Mims said he wanted to be the starting catcher.
Bill Kostrun/New York Post
Denzel Me
Now is the time for the Jets to trade Denzel Mims, writes Brian Costello of the Post.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Teams lose wide receivers to injury every day in training camp. The Broncos lost Tim Patrick for the year this week. It’s hamstring season. Douglas should be on the phone with any team injured in this position.

The Jets can afford to trade Mims. They have a deep receiving body for the first time in a long time, with Davis, Moore, Wilson, Berrios and Jeff Smith a coaching favorite. Mims was asked how he sees himself fitting in.

“I hope I see myself at the top,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done enough work to be there. It’s the coaches’ decision, but I’m going to keep working hard and doing everything I can.

Mims could still be a starter in the NFL, but that’s not happening with the Jets. It is time to move on.

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