Jets Rumors: Keelan Cole Agrees to $5.5M Contract amid Smith-Schuster Buzz

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole Sr. (84) sprints down the field during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

The New York Jets reportedly added to their receiving corps Thursday, signing wideout Keelan Cole to a one-year, $5.5 million deal, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. 

The Jets already made a splashy signing at the position, adding Corey Davis on Thursday as well. Per ESPN's Rich Cimini, Davis signedthree-year, $37.5 million deal. 

Those two pacts likely end the rumors that the team was pursuing JuJu Smith-Schuster:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Interesting development in the WR market: The #Jets have been having conversations with #Steelers FA WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, sources say, a potential target in their offense. Despite having signed Corey Davis, NYJ may not be done adding playmakers. Smith-Schuster is one to watch.

Cole, 27, had a solid 2020 season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, registering 55 catches for 642 yards and five touchdowns. But with players like Laviska Shenault Jr. and DJ Chark Jr. already on the roster, and Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett added in free agency, Cole became expendable. 

Both he and Davis will be significant upgrades for a Jets offense that was generally devoid of impactful playmakers last season. The team's top receiver last year was Jamison Crowder (59 receptions for 699 yards and six touchdowns), a solid slot receiver but not the sort of player you build a passing game around. 

It's fair to argue that Davis and Cole aren't that type of player either, though the 26-year-old Davis appears to have some untapped potential. But they will give the Jets more options in the passing game, along with any young players the team potentially drafts at the position. 

The bigger question for New York's offense, of course, is who will throw the ball to them next year. Sam Darnold is the incumbent, but he hasn't lived up to the hype in his three-year career. He was hardly the only problem for the 2-14 Jets last year, but he has yet to look like a long-term solution either. 

So plenty of uncertainties remain regarding the Jets' offseason. Davis and Cole have helped to address one major need, however.