Sometimes a change of scenery can alter the direction of a player’s career.
That very thought has been brought up when discussing the future of New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims this offseason.
Connor Hughes mentioned that in his latest column for The Athletic:
“The Jets fielded calls from teams interested in trading for Mims last year. A strong training camp and preseason can increase that return compensation. Dealing Mims to a team where he can play makes sense for all parties.”
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The Reset Button Can Open the Doors
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report listed the top six players who need to be traded to truly break out in 2022.
The theme of the column was sometimes other circumstances affect whether or not you end up being a bust or a disappointment at the next level.
Mims made the list as an uber-talented guy who hasn’t realized his full potential for one reason or another.
Although Knox believes a deal with the Carolina Panthers could unlock his full skill-set:
“A trade to the Carolina Panthers, though, could give Mims the opportunity he needs to finally break out. Robby Anderson and DJ Moore were the only Carolina players to top 500 receiving yards in 2021, and former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is still the projected Week 1 starter.”
Mims was the No. 59 overall pick in the second round out of Baylor. He lived up to the draft hype in his first season showing pops of athleticism and a propensity for making highlight-reel catches:
- 23 catches
- 357 yards
- 15.5 yards per reception
However, after a coaching change that potential and impact disappeared instantaneously in his second season:
- Played in 11 games and only started in 3 of those contests
- Eight receptions
- 133 receiving yards
Makes Plenty of Sense
The thought of potentially trading Mims isn’t a new concept, that has been widely discussed on social media.
However, the potential of Mims breaking out in a new location based on a variety of factors makes a ton of sense.
On the Flight Deck Podcast, Rich Cimini of ESPN revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes details on how things fell apart for Mims last offseason:
“There is a sense that there is more of a willingness by Mims to buy in and embrace the offense. That wasn’t the case a year ago. He came out of Baylor and was an X-receiver for Adam Gase. A classic X split-end receiver in college, which was okay under Gase, but when the new regime came in they wanted him to learn all three receiver positions. There was some stubbornness on Mims’ part. I think he was reluctant to embrace that and you saw what happened last year. The sense is this year he is buying and is doing really well.”
Cimini called him “one of the stars of the offseason” and the Jets organization believes this was a “wake-up call” for Mims.
Now that could be all good news for the Jets and there is a path where they simply keep him.
However his potential “break out” is limited by his circumstances.
The Jets have four receivers automatically above him and the latest from Cimini suggests even Jeff Smith is also above him on the depth chart.
Although if he was traded to a team like Carolina, Mims would have a clearer path to playing time and could be reunited with his former college coach Matt Rhule.
Also if Mims worked as an X-receiver in his first year, perhaps going to the Panthers would allow him the opportunity to go back and do what he is comfortable with. That could also open up the door of opportunity for him to realize his full potential.
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