Jets Rumors: NY Evaluating Will Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kendrick Bourne

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller plays during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The New York Jets reportedly plan to upgrade at receiver after finishing last season ranked 31st in passing.

According to Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the team has evaluated free agents Will Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kendrick Bourne.

Jamison Crowder led the Jets with 699 receiving yards in 2020, and the franchise hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in 2015.

Crowder is set to return in 2021, although the squad can save $10.375 million against the cap by releasing the veteran, per Spotrac

Whether the Jets move forward with Sam Darnold at quarterback or draft a new face of the franchise with the No. 2 overall pick, the team will need more weapons going forward.

Fuller could be an exciting option after setting career highs in 2020 with 53 catches, 879 receiving yards and eight touchdowns despite playing just 11 games. The speedster has 24 touchdowns in 53 career games and is one of the league's best deep threats when healthy.

Smith-Schuster has been up and down during his career but was a Pro Bowler in 2018 with 111 catches and 1,426 receiving yards, both in the top 10 in the NFL. After a disappointing 2019, he responded last year with 97 catches for 831 yards and nine touchdowns.

Considering he is still only 24 years old, the 2017 second-round draft pick still has loads of potential.

Bourne could also be an intriguing option as a "favorite" of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, per Graziano and Fowler. The former undrafted free agent spent the last four years with the San Francisco 49ers, where LaFleur served as receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh also saw Bourne firsthand as San Francisco's defensive coordinator.

Bourne ranked second on the 49ers last season with 667 receiving yards, adding 49 catches and two touchdowns.