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Jets' Robert Saleh: 'I Don't View' Denzel Mims as a 'Hostage' After Trade Request

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2022

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh defended the team's approach with Denzel Mims, who remains a member of the Jets despite having requested a trade.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Saleh acknowledged the 24-year-old might be frustrated with his current situation but added, "I don’t think he's a hostage":

"It's a lot easier to kick somebody out of the door if they want a trade if they're jerks and that's not Denzel, he's a good young man and I love the way he approaches everything, even with this, the way he's come about it, very professional, comes to meetings, practice, does all of it, so I guess I just don't view him as a hostage."

The Jets included Mims on their initial 53-man roster as Tuesday's deadline passed. Echoing what he said after the team's final preseason, Saleh told reporters he believes Mims is one of New York's six best wideouts.

SNY's Connor Hughes explained the factors at play, reporting Mims doesn't have any personal animus toward anybody with the Jets, and he simply "wants to go to a place where he's going to start."

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

Denzel Mims is on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> 53-man roster &amp; there’s a reason for that. <a href="https://twitter.com/JeaneCoakley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeaneCoakley</a> and I discuss why, plus some information on Jason Pinnock, Lawrence Cager &amp; why this is the “initial” 53 <a href="https://t.co/NM1TKSiRbf">pic.twitter.com/NM1TKSiRbf</a>

Through his first two years, Mims has caught 31 passes for 490 yards in 20 games.

That the Jets have subsequently used a second-round pick on Elijah Moore and a top-10 selection on Garrett Wilson could certainly be read as an indictment of Mims, who was a second-rounder himself in 2020. The combined presence of Moore and Wilson doesn't lead one to feel good about his long-term prospects in the Big Apple, either.

There still may be time for this partnership to succeed.

Granted, it was only a preseason game, but New York certainly showcased Mims in its 31-27 victory over the New York Giants. He had seven receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown.

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Six targets. Six catches. One TD. <br><br>Denzel Mims comes down with the score 🙌<a href="https://t.co/gqO7bnMOh7">pic.twitter.com/gqO7bnMOh7</a>

And in general, the Jets' receiving corps isn't exactly a murderer's row. Maybe Wilson is finally the answer, but for now, there isn't a clear No. 1 guy who can lead the passing game.

If Mims is exactly as good as he believes himself to be, then Saleh and his staff would be foolish to let him waste his potential on the bench.

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