Position: Wide receiver
2018 cap hits of top returnees:
Jermaine Kearse -- $5 million
Devin Smith -- $1.9 million
ArDarius Stewart -- $804,000
Lucky Whitehead -- $680,000
Chad Hansen -- $660,000
Robby Anderson -- $633,000
Pending free agents: Quincy Enunwa (restricted).
Key stat: The receiving corps held up reasonably well, considering it underwent a massive overhaul in personnel. The wideouts finished with 10 touchdowns on pass plays greater than 20 yards, tied for second in the league, per ESPN Stats & Information.
Money matters: The Jets got their salary-cap house in order after dumping overpaid players Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Kearse has the only cap charge of significance, and that will be completely wiped off the books if he's released. They're leaning toward keeping Kearse, but it could depend on how things shake out with free agency and the draft. Enunwa probably will receive a second-round tender, an estimated $3 million.
Big picture: They have the makings of a nice receiving corps, but there are a couple of big questions: Will Anderson's legal issues derail his promising career? Can Enunwa make a full recovery after missing last season due to neck surgery? If all goes well, they will have a solid trio with Enunwa, Kearse and Anderson, whose deep speed provides a home-run element to the offense. They've invested significant draft capital in recent years, but their high picks have yet to pan out -- the oft-injured Smith (second round, 2015), Stewart (third, 2017) and Hansen (fourth, 2017). The position screams for a No. 1 receiver.
The game plan: If the Jets really want to impress Kirk Cousins, their No. 1 free-agent target, they'll burst out of the gate by signing one of the top receivers on the market. Problem is, it'll be hard to woo a top receiver until the quarterback situation is stabilized. It's a Catch-22. One thing is clear: They need a consistent and dynamic player to lead a group of complementary receivers.
Jarvis Landry was tagged a franchise player on Tuesday night, effectively removing him from the market. That leaves Robinson and Watkins (maybe) as the only No. 1-type receivers. It'll probably take at least $13 million-a-year to sign Robinson, and general manager Mike Maccagnan isn't one to invest heavily in offensive skill players. He believes in finding those players in the draft. If they pursue a top-tier free agent, it won't bode well for Anderson, whose off-the-field issues have clouded his long-term future.
If the Jets want to take a chance on a sleeper, they probably can get Brown, 27, on the cheap. He's coming off two injury-plagued years, but he was a 1,000-yard receiver for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. Coach Todd Bowles was on the Arizona staff in 2014, Brown's rookie year, so he's familiar with his game.