If quarterback Sam Darnold is going to progress in his third season in the NFL, he will need to not only take the next step in terms of his reading the game and decision making but he will need a better supporting cast. That’s where Breshad wide receiver Perriman comes into play
Credit to general manager Joe Douglas for trying to add more size and speed to the offense over the past eight months.
Between revamping the offensive line (perhaps overhauling is a better word) and moves like re-signing tight end Ryan Griffin late last year, Douglas is working to piece together a better, more balanced offense for Darnold. Signing Perriman is part of that equation. He brings a unique skillset to the Jets, no doubt.
His deal was a low-risk, high-reward for the Jets (one-year, $6.5 million).
The lowdown: This offseason, the Jets lost Robby Anderson in free agency and quickly signed Perriman. An already anemic passing offense last year took a hit with the loss of Anderson to the Carolina Panthers. He was the team’s second-leading wide receiver but he was explosive, arguably the only player on the Jets with truly elite speed who could break open a play.
In Perriman, Jets management is hoping to have brought in a weapon for Darnold who can stretch the field and bring the same level of explosiveness.
There is a caution…the Jets are his fourth team in five years. Perriman has had some struggles in terms of health but also consistency. If he can stay on the field, however, he could see a lot of balls in this offense.
Last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he had 36 receptions for 645 yards and six touchdowns. Good solid production.
What Perriman brings: Speed, lots of it. There is also upside here and untapped potential.
The knock on Perriman is that he hasn’t lived up to the billing when he was a first round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2016 NFL Draft. But his production last year with the Buccaneers wasn’t poor by any stretch, and that was in a reserve role.
Anderson was fast but Perriman might be a twitch faster. At his Pro Day in 2016, Anderson ran a reported 4.34 time in the 40. Perriman blazed in at a reported 4.25 for his Pro Day at Central Florida.
He also had better production last year than Anderson in the important categories of yards per catch and touchdowns. If healthy and focused, Perriman may actually be a slight upgrade over Anderson if the Jets can get him the ball in the open field.
At the NFL Combine in February, head coach Adam Gase talked about the offense becoming more explosive. Losing Anderson hurts but his replacement in Perriman could well be a great fit and adds pure speed to the equation.
Where he fits: Given the rest of the talent in the wide receivers room, Perriman should be a starter. He figures into the trio of starting wide receivers that ideally is Jamison Crowder and second round pick Denzel Mims.
He can stretch the field, so getting Perriman over the middle or in one-on-one match-ups should help the Jets get him the ball in dangerous situations.
Long-term outlook: Signing Perriman to a one-year deal is all that one needs to know about this ‘Prove-It’ contract. It is clear that the Jets are intrigued by Perriman and what he brings to the offense, his contract is not an insignificant chunk of change when considering they didn’t have a huge free agent budget coming into the offseason and had multiple needs to address.
But Perriman isn’t established as a reliable, go-to player right now. He’s coming off a season where he might have been better than Anderson, and that should excite Jets fans.
Grading the move: Keeping Anderson would have been nice but Perriman gives the offense equal if not better speed. The Jets are counting on a heavy workload and hope that it all finally clicks for him in New York.
If the Jets couldn’t retain Anderson – and it was clear that they weren’t going to overpay – then Perriman is not only a good, solid replacement but a good value against the salary cap.
This was a savvy, educated signing. If it doesn’t work out, he hits free agency in 2021. If it does work, the Jets can prepare a long-term deal. Either way, New York has flexibility.