The Jets may not have been active at the trade deadline, but Jets GM Mike Maccagnan reassured everyone that he will be "very active" when free agency comes around in 2019.
Maccagnan is projected to have around $90 million in cap space to work with, which gives him lots of room to fill necessary holes on the team. One of those holes is in the receiving corps, as it not only lacks playmakers, but has also seen the injury bug so far this season. It is also worth noting that Quincy Enunwa, Jermaine Kearse, and the newly-acquired Rishard Matthews will all be free agents after this year.
The Jets have been forced to use depth players like Charone Peake and Andre Roberts at times this season, giving rookie QB Sam Darnold not much to work with. Darnold needs some better options in his arsenal, and free agency could solve that problem.
Here are some receivers the Jets could target next offseason...
Of the three Jets receivers hitting the market in 2019, Enunwa would be the best bet to return. Before suffering an ankle injury, the 26-year-old receiver was Darnold's top target -- over Robby Anderson and Kearse.
Over six games, Enunwa totaled 287 yards on 22 catches and one touchdown. Kearse, who signed a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Jets this past offseason, has showed that he can still play at a high level after his neck injury last season to repair a bulging disc. He is also younger than Kearse and Matthews, which will certainly be factored into the Jets' decision on who to keep around.
The Eagles may have nabbed Tate at the trade deadline, striking a deal with the Lions. But the 30-year-old is a free agent after this season, and the Jets can still make a run at him.
Despite his age, Tate has been Matt Stafford's No. 1 receiver in Detroit. Before the start of this season, he posted back-to-back 1,000-yard performances, and is on pace to do the same again this year. Over seven games, he has 517 yards on 44 receptions and three touchdowns as well.
Tate's versatility in an offense is what will likely make him attractive to teams other than the Jets come February. He can be used in the slot, on the outside, and even in the run game with jet sweeps. He touts reliable hands and speed that hasn't waned over nine seasons.
And most importantly, Tate has experience as the go-to receiver, which Darnold desperately needs.
After four seasons with the Colts, Moncrief found himself on the Jaguars to start off his 2018 campaign. It appeared to be a much better gig, joining the team that made it to the AFC Championship game last year. However, it hasn't worked out the way Jacksonville envisioned it.
So, Moncrief may want to test the free-agent waters and find a better system to work himself into in 2019. Right now, he has totaled 379 yards on 29 catches and two touchdowns.
Moncrief is young (he turns 26 next year), and has proved to be a reliable receiver over his career. The only knock on him is his inability to stay on the field for a full season since 2015. Last year, he played in only 12 games, and an even worse nine games in 2016. But the Jets' youth movement would be a good fit for the Ole Miss product.
Cobb has been with the Packers since he broke into the league in 2011, but as he hits free agency, Green Bay may contemplate letting him walk.
For one, Devante Adams has proved to be Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 option whenever he needs a big play. This isn't to say that Cobb doesn't possess that ability, but if the Packers lose Cobb to free agency, they wouldn't be losing their top guy. They also have Geronimo Allison and rookie Equanimeous St. Brown, who has showed he can be relied on with his clutch catch on Monday Night Football against the 49ers a few weeks ago.
So, the Jets could jump on the Packers not making a big push for the 29-year-old. Like Tate, the Jets would certainly be able to utilize Cobb's ability to get open and make plays in open space.
Benjamin is publicly unhappy in Buffalo, and it is expected he won't return next season. But do the Jets take a chance on a player with Benjamin's personality?
It is never good to hear a player say no to their quarterback to run routes prior to a game, as Benjamin did with rookie Josh Allen at one point this season. The Jets got rid of bad-character players like Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson, so Benjamin could be off their radar.
But he is still only 27 years old, and showed he can be a top target back in 2014 and 2016 with the Panthers. At 6-foot-5, Darnold would lick his chops throwing him the deep ball, and trusting he can go up and make a play. Benjamin's ability to get open, though, has come into question, so view this option as one that is high-risk, but high-reward.