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Spencer Brod

Spencer Brod

What does the retirement of Corey Davis mean for the Jets?

     In case you have yet to see the news, former Jets and Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has called it a career. Though the Jets anticipated this for a few weeks, the NFL world was shocked when the announcement broke yesterday. 

    Stephen Hill. Elijah Moore. Denzel Mims. Quincy Enunwa. Whether it’s their fault or not, the Jets front office has had far too many whiffs on wide receiver draft picks and signings. With the retirement of Corey Davis, this still holds. Although Davis was far from a bonafide star wideout with just 1,028 yards in two years with New York, he would’ve been a reliable option for Aaron Rodgers behind budding star Garrett Wilson. While Joe Douglas signed Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb this off-season, things will get ugly quickly if Wilson goes down. Though the three listed will have productive years in their respective roles, none have proven to be a bonafide WR1 or even WR2 in their careers, aside from a younger Cobb. With the league’s landscape currently, Aaron Rodgers may venture on another darkness retreat if this receiving unit is below average. 

    This leaves many Jet fans with a million-dollar question: Who can replace the void Davis left behind, and what does this mean for the unit?

    In this article, I’ll dive into what this means for the rest of the WR room and potential replacement options. 

     Increased Randall Cobb Usage:

      Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers well enough now. He will complain if he doesn’t get what he wants, like an eight-year-old. As a result, New York brought in a plethora of former Packers this offseason to satisfy the four-time MVP. Specifically, they notched WR Randall Cobb in free agency, hoping to bring chemistry and stability to this receiver room. At first, it seemed like the idea of Cobb having a significant role on this team was an afterthought. However, after the sudden Corey Davis retirement, Cobb could quickly become a reliable option for Rodgers again. 

    Though he is a shell of his former self, Cobb has seen his role steadily increase during training camp over the past few weeks. Without Corey Davis, he is the lone proven veteran in this WR group. While Garrett Wilson is far and away the team’s top pass-catching option, Cobb’s experience, championship pedigree, and chemistry with Rodgers impressed Robert Saleh. Although it doesn’t always hold true, quality chemistry between a quarterback and receiver often paves the way for a more efficient offense. Take a look at Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. After their collegiate years together capturing a title, they’ve soared to new heights in the NFL. It may be a different situation, but Cobb’s understanding of Rodgers will make him a trusted target. 

    During his final year in Green Bay, Rodgers consistently voiced frustrations with the inexperience in the team’s receiver room. From frequent Christian Watson drops to Romeo Doubs running the wrong route, No. 12 had his hands full last year. Therefore, Cobb could sometimes serve as a safety blanket for the former Packer.

   Lastly, Cobb is undoubtedly going to get more targets by default. With him currently slated as the team’s WR4, the Jets are an injury away from having him slide into a starting role. 

   Overall, it won’t shock me if Randall Cobb accumulates over 600 yards in the receiving game this year. From his developed instincts to his strong connection with Rodgers, the retirement of Corey Davis presents a solid opportunity for Cobb this season.

  Tight End Room Must Step Up: 

    Over the past two off-seasons, Joe Douglas has invested a solid amount into loading up New York’s tight end room. After 2022, it’s safe to say his acquisitions have been a disappointment thus far. Specifically, Tyler Conklin’s season was plagued with drops, C.J. Uzomah couldn’t stay healthy, and Jeremy Ruckert didn’t get an opportunity. Additionally, Mike LaFleur is also at fault, as he failed to utilize each player to their strengths. With less than 800 yards between the Uzomah and Conklin duo, OC Nathaniel Hackett must better incorporate tight ends into this offense.

   With a depleted receiver room, the TEs must step up to the plate and perform better than they did in 2022. Having an improved quarterback at the helm will certainly help, but concentration problems still arose last year, which isn’t a quarterback’s fault. In my opinion, it would be Corey Davis as the WR2 for Gang Green this year, despite the additions made. For the void to be filled, consistency from Tyler Conklin is nearly a necessity. If he doesn’t live up to his contract and keeps fumbling the football, Jeremy Ruckert would likely take over the reins as TE1 for the Jets, while Uzomah remains primarily a blocker. 

    If Corey Davis was lined up alongside Garrett Wilson, a decent amount of pressure would be taken off Wilson to make plays down after down. Unfortunately, his retirement pours an ounce of pressure onto the star wideout to make play after play, though he can easily eclipse 1,500 yards this year. To take the load of Wilson once in a while, I think it’d be wise of Hackett to run two TE sets, as one could be beneficial for blocking while the other creates separation in anticipation of a catch. It’s nothing compared to the likes of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, but this move could open up Gang Green’s offense much more. 

  In short, this tight-end room plays a vital role in the offense and could make or break whether we see this unit eclipse top-10 status in 2023.

   Replacement Options:

    At the end of the day, the odds of Tyler Conklin blossoming into a superstar or Randall Cobb turning back the clock are slim. While Corey Davis wasn’t in line for an incredible season, his resilience and grit as a player will be missed. Consequently, general manager Joe Douglas must figure out how to add another body to this WR core. 

   Here are a couple of potential options and why I like their fit:

    Marquise Brown (Cardinals): 

       With Josh Jones and Isiah Simmons on their way out of Arizona, it’s evident that the Cardinals are gearing up for a complete fire sale. As a result, I believe it would be in the Jets’ best interest to explore a trade for receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Brown, just 26 years old, has shown the potential to be a dynamic and shifty wideout and would complement Garrett Wilson well. He’s also a solid deep threat, something Rodgers admires greatly. While injuries are a red flag, Brown’s potential cannot be denied, as he racked up over 1,000 yards even with inconsistent QB play in 2021. Additionally, he would likely be an upgrade over Corey Davis, and the asking price to get him may not be too high. With postseason experience under his belt and blazing speed, I believe Joe Douglas should consider calling Arizona regarding a Marquise Brown trade.

    Julio Jones (Free Agency): 

      Before you say, “No chance, he’s so washed,” let me explain why this is an ideal fit for the future Hall of Famer. While Jones is far from what he once was, he would still undoubtedly be the Jets’ second-best receiver. Recently, Gang Green’s offense has lacked a true big-body contest catch specialist. Though Julio Jones may not make as many jaw-dropping catches as he once did, he would still provide a missing element to Hackett’s offense. Ideally, Joe Douglas would sign Jones to a 1-year contract worth no more than eight million dollars, but Brown seems far more likely to be a Jet than Jones. That being said, the seven-time pro-bowler playing with one of this generation’s best quarterbacks would be a sight all Jet fans would love to see. 


    Barring a drastic move, the loss of Corey Davis will impact this Jets offense. Is it a huge cause of concern? Not entirely, but the position is very thin after Garrett Wilson. 

    In the meantime, it would be wise of Joe Douglas to do his due diligence on the options mentioned and explore other trades around the league. 

    Ultimately, football is more than just a game, and Davis most likely retired for his family’s sake. Best of luck to him with his future endeavors, and let’s go Jets!