The 29-year old signed a five year, $25m contract with the Vikings two seasons ago, but was a big disappointment. He had just forty catches in two seasons in Minnesota, although 32 of them were last year. After being drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft, he had 106 catches and 12 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Seahawks, but just 71 catches and three touchdowns in three seasons since then.
Carlson provides a big target at 6-5, but isn't known for his blocking. Despite his reduction in productivity over the past few years, he did show the ability to contribute last November in a come-from-behind win over the Redskins where he caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
It's unlikely Carlson will ever rediscover the level of productivity he achieved earlier in his career, but he is a player John Idzik must be familiar with from his time in Seattle, so the fact they're bringing him in for a look suggests he believes Carlson must have something left in the tank.
As a released player, Carlson wouldn't count as a qualifying UFA addition for compensatory pick purposes and the Jets don't need to wait until free agency begins if they want to sign him.