Jets offseason preview: Wide receivers

With the NFL scouting combine (Feb. 17-23) and free agency (March 10) approaching, we take a position-by-position look at the New York Jets as they head into the offseason:

Position: Wide receiver

2014 snaps:

Key stat: This may surprise you, but the Jets' oft-criticized receiving corps averaged 14.4 yards per catch against base defenses (four DBs), which ranked 10th in the league. Against nickel defenses, the average dropped by nearly two yards (12.6), but it still was good for 14th.

Pending free agents: Salas (unrestricted)

2015 cap hits (position rank):

Money matters: The big decision involves Harvin, who has four years, $41.5 million remaining on the contract inherited from the Seattle Seahawks -- none of it guaranteed. The Jets must make the call by March 19. If he's still on the roster, they owe the Seahawks a fourth-round pick, completing the trade from last October. If they cut him before the 19th, it's a sixth-rounder. His entire cap charge comes off the books if they cut bait. Clearly, Harvin isn't a $10 million a year receiver, but he has talent. Are the Jets willing to overpay out of desperation? Not likely. We know Decker isn't going anywhere; his entire base salary ($5 million is guaranteed). Kerley's entire base salary ($2 million) becomes fully guaranteed on March 14.

Big picture: Any potential moves will hinge on the Harvin verdict. Even if they keep him, they still don't have a true No. 1 receiver. The Jets were only 2-6 with Harvin, who hasn't had a multiple-TD game since 2011. Decker was an average receiver for the first 15 games before morphing into Jerry Rice in the finale. If they stick with the Decker-Harvin tandem, it's hard to imagine them going for an upper-tier free agent; that would be a lot of money tied up in one position. Amari Cooper would be an intriguing option with the sixth pick in the draft, if he lasts that long. Bottom line: They're still one major acquisition away from having a top-flight receiving corps.

Free-agent market watch: Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Torrey Smith, Demaryius Thomas.