Jets could pair QB Aaron Rodgers with former WR teammate this spring

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (New York Jets target) (11) celebrates a touchdown catch against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets can add a free-agent offensive talent that has close ties with starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers ahead of the 2024 NFL season.

Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still available on the market. The 29-year-old wideout played the first four years of his career alongside Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers from 2018-2021.

Jets: Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a big-play receiver that succeeded playing with QB Aaron Rodgers

Nov 5, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) celebrates with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after catching a pass to score a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) celebrates with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after catching a pass to score a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Valdes-Scantling helped Rodgers win two NFL MVPs in 2020 and 2021 as one of his favorite options on the outside. The Florida native established himself as one of the premier deep-ball threats in the league and led the NFL with 20.9 receiving yards per reception in 2020.

His explosiveness in making plays down the field carried over into his most recent outing with the Chiefs in 2023. He gained 15 yards per reception and posted a 50 percent catch percentage.

How Valdes-Scantling could boost the Jets’ receiving corp in 2024

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11) warms up prior to the AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11) warms up prior to the AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Valdes-Scantling would help a Jets team that finished with the second-fewest receiving yards per reception among all teams last year with 9.5 yards per REC. They also had the fewest completions of 40 or more yards (3), even without Rodgers healthy in the lineup.

Ralph Ventre of Fan Nation’s Jets Country hypothesized how much the talented receiver could be had for in accordance with other recent WR free agent signings if the Jets decide to make a play:

“Former Cincinnati Bengals’ starter Tyler Boyd, who is much more accomplished than Valdes-Scantling, recently accepted a one-year deal reportedly worth up to $4.5 million. Zay Jones, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, will reportedly receive up to $4.25 million from the Arizona Cardinals,” Ventre wrote.

Valdes-Scantling is a worthy look as a flex WR

The Jets did add WR Mike Williams this offseason. The seven-year veteran also led the league in receiving yards per reception (20.4) in his career, a year before Valdes-Scantling in 2019. He and Garrett Wilson figure to man the outside while Malachi Corley, the Jets’ third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, is a highly-touted prospect projected to be ready to produce at a high level in the slot.

Having Valdes-Scantling as a flex option on the outside could pay huge dividends for New York. His camaraderie with Rodgers would also give the former four-time league MVP another familiar face to target and move the chains with. At a $4 million price tag, he’d be a worthy option to consider as the season draws near.

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