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Former Jets Scout Says New York Must Extend Braxton Berrios

This former New York Jets scout believes that the Jets must extend wide receiver Braxton Berrios this offseason, no matter how much it costs in free agency

In the eyes of many Jets fans, the most important free agent signing the team can make is not a player currently on another roster. 

The feeling is the most important free agent New York can sign is their very own free agent wide receiver, Braxton Berrios, and it is hard to argue that. 

Berrios was recently named to the Associated Press’ 2021 All-Pro Team as a kick returner and he was named as an alternate to this year’s Pro Bowl. The feisty Berrios, who is a spitting image of former Jets’ star receiver, Wayne Chrebet, has held up his end of the deal. Now it is time to see if the Jets will recognize what they have in Berrios? 

There is not much (if any) leverage to be had in waiting to get a deal done. Generally, the longer a team waits, the more the price tag goes up and the more interest other teams show. 

The 4-13 Jets have enough problems as it is, and Berrios is not one of them. Berrios played well enough in 2021 to seriously be considered as the team’s most valuable player. Berrios played in 15 games and hauled in 46 catches (65 targets) for 431 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. He also added being the leading kick returner in the NFL to his resume, as well as being amongst the leaders in punt returns. 

Berrios put an exclamation point on that resume with his 102-yard kickoff return against Jacksonville in late December. 

However, instead of responding by sending a thank you card in the form of a contract extension, the Jets have instead made Berrios feel more like someone who does not have a date for the prom. 

In defense of the Jets’ organization, Berrios’ asking price could be in the $9 million dollar per year range (per ESPN reporter, Rich Camini). The number would be the highest pay for a slot receiver, and a low-end number for a second receiver (per However, in the large scheme of things, $9 million a year on a team that has a salary cap of $208.2 million is like you or me leaving a nice tip at a restaurant. 

What this really comes down to is how much do the Jets value the 26-year-old’s contribution and do they understand the value of team chemistry and fit? 

READ: Failing to Re-Sign Braxton Berrios Would Be a Huge Mistake By the Jets

This isn’t just about putting anyone at wide receiver who fits into a Jets’ uniform, it’s about who fits the Jets from a team chemistry standpoint. Berrios fits the multi-faceted attack of offensive coordinator, Mike LaFleur. Even more importantly, the ultra-competitive and scrappy Berrios fits team quarterback Zach Wilson perfectly. Wilson also looked for Berrios more and more as the schedule progressed. During the last month of the season, Wilson targeted Berrios 30 times (he caught 21) and clearly showed an increased dependence and confidence in Berrios as a receiver. 

Jets WR Braxton Berrios running with the football
Jets WR Braxton Berrios warming up

If it sounds like I am in favor of the Jets’ quickly giving Berrios an extension, it’s because I am. I was with the team when Chrebet was there. I understand the value of having someone like Chrebet and Berrios on the team. 

If the Jets aren’t careful with this one, Bill Belichick might teach the team another painful lesson and bring Berrios back to New England where he can play pitch and catch with QB Mac Jones against the Jets twice a year for the next five years. 

After all, that is where Berrios’ NFL career began. 


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