Where Could Crowder Land?
The New York Jets can’t get out of their own way. They managed to lose the right to the number overall draft selection. Sam Darnold is still on the roster, and it looks like Jamison Crowder is on the chopping block. Here are three landing spots for Jamison Crowder.
I understand Crowder isn’t the most exciting player to watch or to talk about, but the fact is Crowder was the Jets’ most productive receiver leading the jets in both catches and yards. I understand it wasn’t pretty with 59 catches for 699 yards. Frankly, if that’s your top receiver, you have significant issues in the passing game.
Those issues aren’t going to disappear by keeping Crowder on the roster at the cost of $10 million this year. Not when the dead cap hit is one million dollars. What kind of contract will Crowder demand?
I don’t know if Crowder is going to have any negotiating leverage. He’s going to be 28 years old this summer, which isn’t old for a wide receiver by any means. That said, we know what Crowder is at this point. At 5’9″ and 178 lbs, he is not an “X” receiver in the NFL.
Jamison Crowder may not command the money or the ball like an NFL number one receiver, but he will improve an offense in the right role. There are a few teams that I believe Crowder would be an excellent fit with the systems those teams run.
New England Patriots
The first and most obvious place for me is the New England Patriots. Julian Edelman just has not been able to stay on the field, and he’s 34 years old. Edelman has only played 16 games twice in the last six years. He is at that point in his career where we often see a significant decline in performance.
Jamison Crowder is a perfect fit for this offense. I realize this isn’t the same Patriot offense that we have seen in the past with Tom Brady. That doesn’t change the fact, and the Patriots still prefer to attack the middle of the field. You do that with tight ends and slot receivers.
The New England Patriots will almost certainly address the tight end position, and there are a few players for them to target. The Patriots also need help at the wide receiver position. N’Keal Harry is starting to look more and more like a bust. Jakobi Meyers has flashed at times, but he needs support from other parts of the passing game to be effective.
Crowder also brings some veteran leadership with whatever team he would join. The Patriots could also use some help in that department, regardless of who the quarterback ends up being.
As far as what kind of contract would Crowder demand? It’s tough to say, but the Patriots have not spent much of the team’s salary cap on receivers. Currently, among nine receivers, the Patriots are paying just over $11 million.
Think about that for a second. Crowder was due to be paid $10 million this year, and his contract is on par with John Brown as an example. It’s not an outlandish contract, and the Patriots are paying a total of $11 million on nine players, half of which I challenge most diehard fantasy players to name.
I don’t know if New England could bring Crowder in for six to seven million a year, but they should consider paying him the $10 million Crowder was on scheduled to be paid. He would elevate this wide receiver room instantly. Jamison Crowder is a perfect fit for this system.
Another team that could use a little bit of a veteran presence on the team and gains a dependable wideout like Crowder is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dede Westbrook is currently a free agent. Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark are very much different receivers than Crowder, but they all could compliment each other well.
The Jags have the number one overall pick, and it looks like they will be selecting the highly acclaimed Trevor Lawerence. There are three things the Jags need to do for Trevor Lawerence to help ensure his success.
One, be sure to protect him with a solid offensive line, don’t be like the Cincinnati Bengals. Two, have a decent run game to lean on, don’t ask Trevor to do more than he needs to; he is a rookie. Lastly, get him weapons to throw to.
Shenault is a very talented rookie that Jacksonville can move around and find creative ways to get him the ball. I think Chark is an excellent receiver, but I don’t think he’s talented enough to be a passing game’s focal point. Chark needs a capable receiver on the field to help take the pressure off of him.
Crowder can do all the things the Jags are missing in the passing game and bring a veteran’s presence to a very young team. With his quick and precise route running, Crowder will improve the players in that wideout room.
The last team I will mention here is the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are another young team that could use some veteran experience on the ball’s offensive side.
Devante Parker has mainly been a letdown and, at the same time, flashed with brilliance. It appears to me Parker flourishes with volume, but forcing your passing game through one receiver never works.
Preston Williams is still a wild card, and he has also looked very good at times. That in itself isn’t all that surprising; Williams fell in the draft due to off-the-field issues.
Regardless of all of this, Crowder would be replacing the work that Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson perform. Just like their teammates, both players have looked good on the field. Yet, neither has been able to stay on the field.
Crowder would give the Dolphins some in the passing that would demand targets with his skill set and ability to get open regularly. He would compliment the work that Parker and presumably Williams would do.
Miami is in the same boat as the Jags are; the Dolphins have a young quarterback with many unknowns at the skill positions. The positions you want to make sure you have quality players at for your young quarterback to lean on.
Crowder has found success playing on bad teams for the most part, but it wasn’t from his lack of quality play. Crowder has had only one season where he didn’t receive at least 78 targets and 59 receptions. That one season, he only played nine games.
Crowder is a complimentary player in any offense, but he is a high-quality player at that position. I don’t know if anyone is willing to pay Crowder what he believes he is worth. I struggle to believe that any of these teams will pay Crowder $10 million for this year, especially with the reduced salary cap.
I can’t speak for Crowder, and I will not pretend I know what he is thinking. I do know that he is going to want to play. Crowder is only going to be 28 years old at the start of the season, and he looks like he still has some good years ahead of him. After all, he is six years younger than Edelman, and I believe Crowder could have been as effective in that Patriot system.
I think a team should take a shot on Crowder, and my money says if Crowder wants a chance to play and show what he has, these three teams are excellent landing spots. The other thing all of these teams have in common? All these teams are well below the salary cap and have the luxury to spend some money. So far below the cap, they have the luxury even to take a risk with a player like Crowder.
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