FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Frustrated by lack of chances, New York Jets wide receivers Denzel Mims — 2020 second-round pick — notified the team Thursday that he would like to be swapped, his agent said in a statement.
It has been building for weeks. Mims agent Ron Slavin met August 6 with general manager Joe Douglas to express concerns. Mims has also shared strong feelings with coach Robert Saleh in a private meeting at the training camp, sources said.
“It’s just time,” said Slavin. “Denzel has tried in good faith but it is clear he has no future with the Jets. Denzel vows to come back better than ever this season and he is working very hard off-season to make it happen. However, he has been given very few opportunities to work with early offense and get into the groove with them.
“We feel at this point trading is our only option as the Jets have repeatedly told us they will not let him go. Joe Douglas has always done the right thing with Denzel and we trust that he will make every effort to find him a new home in the United States. where he can be a contributor.”
It’s been a tough ride with the Jets.
Having shown promise as a rookie under the previous coaching staff (23 catches for 357 yards in nine games), Mims has sat on the bench. He had been battling illness and injury, but he had also not been embraced by the current staff, who wanted him to improve his understanding of the playbook.
He played just 11 games last season and finished with just eight catches for 133 yards. He has yet to score an NFL goal. The Jets said he came into training camp with a new commitment, but he has been relegated to second and third team duties.
In the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Mims was the seventh receiver to enter the game. He is tied for leading the team in preseason receptions (five catches for 68 yards), but he also has drop and pre-snap penalties.
Recently, Mims explained that he deserved the starting position, saying, “I show it every day, so it’s up to them whether they want to play me or not. But I show every day what I can do to keep doing it.”
Saleh recently said that Mims is “much further away than last year,” but he’s no better than sixth on the depth chart. In front of him is Corey Davis, Elijah Moorebeginner Garrett Wilson, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smithstrong special team player.
Since drafting Mims, big-game recipients at Baylor, the Jets have used a first-round hit on Wilson and a second-round hit on Moore — a strong indication that the Mims aren’t thinking about their long-term future. The team has expressed interest in Mims for the past year, sources said, but the Jets have never expressed a willingness to swap them. Maybe that will change now.