As the Jets get closer to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.
No. 6: Jamison Crowder
Last year’s ranking: 5
Age on Opening Day: 28
How acquired: Signed a three-year, $28.5 million free agent contract on March 14, 2019
Years left on contract: 1
2021 Salary Cap figure: $6.4 million
Looking back at 2020
Crowder led the Jets in receiving for the second straight year. He was one of the few bright spots on the team’s dismal offense.
Crowder played in 12 games, starting seven. He missed four games with hamstring and groin injuries. He had 59 catches on 89 targets for 699 yards and six touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown pass.
Crowder started off the season strong. He had over 100 yards receiving in his first three games. Then, it seemed like defenses figured out that if they stopped Crowder, the Jets had no other answers. He did not have more than 50 yards in his next six games and did not top 100 again that season. He had nice games in the Jets two wins (6 catches, 66 yards at the Rams and 7-92-1 and the touchdown pass vs. the Browns).
PFF ranked Crowder 37th out of 127 receivers. He only had two drops.
Outlook for 2021
Crowder was rewarded for two productive seasons with a pay cut. The Jets did not want to pay Crowder the $10 million he was scheduled to earn this season on the contract he signed in 2019. They worked with Crowder and his agent and dropped his salary to $5 million.
The contract dispute led to Crowder missing nearly the entire spring. He was at minicamp, but was only a spectator. He will need to catch up on the new offense early in training camp.
Crowder has been a productive player for the Jets when healthy. The trick is keeping him on the field, something they did successfully in 2019 but not as much last year.
The biggest question about Crowder this season is how he and rookie Elijah Moore fit together. They fill a very similar role as slot receivers. Crowder played 436 snaps in the slot last year and just 152 wide. Moore is younger and faster than Crowder and is a second-round draft pick that the organization is going to want to see thrive. However, Crowder is more experienced and proven. It is going to be interesting to see how Mike LaFleur deploys his wide receivers.