After the Cleveland Browns moved up and drafted tight end David Njoku, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Gary Barnidge be released the next day.
Barnidge is only two years removed from his best season as a pro. Back in 2015, he had over 1000 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. That same year he was named a Pro Bowl’er for the first time in his career. The following year, Barnidge saw his production drop significantly, ultimately helping the decision to look else where at the position.
Since becoming a free agent, Barnidge has seen interest from a few teams but has yet to sign a deal anywhere. Although Barnidge has had interest from a few teams, he finds himself on the wrong side of 30. Not many teams want to take on a veteran tight end that has had one good season in his nine year career.
A team that should put aside the age and the drop in numbers should be the New York Jets. Now, although the Jets aren’t known for using tight ends often, only targeting them 29 times in 2016, Barnidge would be a solid grab for them.
Many of you may remember how well Josh McCown and Gary Barnidge meshed in Cleveland during the “Barn yard dogs” best year as a pro. The two of them connected for 641 of 1043 yards plus six touchdowns which carried Barnidge into cracking the NFL’s top 100 list at 94.
Along with the bond McCown and Barnidge have, the Jets should take a look at what they lost on offence this offseason. First off, their most targeted player Brandon Marshall, he was targeted 132 times in 2016, left to play for the New York Giants,.
Secondly, Robby Anderson was recently arrested for assaulting a police officer in Miami making his future with the organization unknown. He had finished third on the team in receiving with 587 yards.
The Jets have so far failed to bring in any veteran weapons to help out and develop the young talent they brought in through the draft.
Despite all those negatives, Jets fans will be able to look forward to seeing Eric Decker back on the field. With the emergence of Quincy Enunwa last season, and the potential signing of Gary Barnidge this year this offence could become a threat in the AFC.