Trying to free up some money before the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jaguars made a surprise move on Monday, releasing WR Marqise Lee, per the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
So could the Jets, who definitely need more depth in their wide receiving corps, snatch him off the free agent market?
Lee was supposed to make $7 million this season based off his salary and roster bonus in his third year of a four-year pact with Jacksonville. However, the Jags triggered his opt-out, which left $3.5 million in dead cap room.
Why? It could have something to do with his injury-riddled 2018 and 2019 seasons. He couldn't play in 2018 after tearing his ACL, and appeared in only six games last season due to knee, shoulder, and foot problems. But Lee was completely medically cleared for this upcoming season, as Rapoport pointed out.
The Jags also have some pretty good, young depth at receiver in D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and Keelan Cole.
The Jets have about $18.8 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap, so they could afford to get Lee if they were to free up a little more money. There is a catch, though.
It was reported late last week that the Jets were attempting to do that very move to get veteran CB Logan Ryan. New York is in need of another starter at corner after already getting Pierre Desir, and if they don't believe in their internal options or they can get a starter-caliber corner in the draft, then someone like Ryan would be the best option.
But now this opportunity has come to get another solid receiver that can help a position group that might be more important than cornerback.
While the Jets already added Breshad Perriman to replace Robby Anderson's, only he and Jamison Crowder can be trusted at the moment. That's why there's been debate over whether GM Joe Douglas should choose a wide receiver at No. 11 overall over an offensive tackle to give Sam Darnold a trustworthy No. 1 receiver for the future.
If Douglas is set on an offensive tackle, though, he might think about bringing in Lee to shore up his receiving corps. Quincy Enunwa's future in the NFL, let alone with the Jets is still in question with his neck injury. And a bunch of unproven receivers like Josh Doctson and Vyncint Smith remain on the depth chart right now.
Douglas could easily take a receiver after the first round, especially with the depth this year's draft class has. But Lee has proven in the past to be a reliable receiver with solid production. In 2017, his last full season, he caught 56 passes for 702 yards with three touchdowns. Combining that with Perriman and Crowder to go along with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield is a pretty solid bunch.
It's now an option Douglas could be throwing on the table, and one that would make sense for this club. At the end of the day, it will come down to what Douglas' priorities for building his roster will be.