My Left Foot

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The Jets signed former Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson. The Jets are gambling here, but it’s a gamble worth taking.

Wilson has talent, along with good size (6-3, 205) and speed (4.51) The Bears liked him. He just couldn’t stay healthy, breaking his left foot three times. He also suffered a broken collarbone.

“When healthy, he’s a pretty fluid route runner and has good size,” one Bears beat writer told me today. “He’s broken his foot three times and had a collarbone injury in 2014. Each summer there were high hopes for him but he couldn’t stay on the field. Jets is probably a good spot since he knows (Josh) McCown and (Matt) Forte and they aren’t that deep at wide receiver.”

When Wilson came out of Washington State in 2013, there were questions about his attitude because he quit the team after not getting along with coach Mike Leach. How was his attitude in Chicago?

“He didn’t have any attitude issues (in Chicago),” said the beat writer. “He was only 21 he rookie year, and that was apparent. He’s just young, playful guy in the locker room, but never saw any work ethic/attitude issues.”

He still only 24. When he came out of WSU, he was slender and not strong enough. After four years in the Bears’ strength program, that isn’t a problem anymore.

This guy can absolutely help the Jets, but it’s all about the health of his foot. And who knows if it will hold up this time around. The Jets have a terrific training staff and a state-of-the-art training room and rehab center. Jets trainer John “Unchained” Mellody (pictured above) will have a good plan for him. We will see how this works out.

These foot injuries are hard to figure. The Jets actually signed another talented free agent this off-season, Quinton Patton, who really could have helped them, but he re-injured a foot that he hurt last season in San Francisco. The Jets sent him packing with an injury-settlement.

The Jets aren’t taking much of a risk here. He’s getting the league-minimum salary, and if he gets hurt again, they will just let him go again with an injury settlement.

But there is no shortage of talent here.

Keep in mind, Wilson set a Washington State school record with 82 receptions in 2011.

And in Chicago, he was a guy they really, really liked. In fact, he was one of the reasons the Bears felt comfortable trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets in 2015.

Also, Wilson played with Josh McCown in 2013 in Chicago, when the Jets’ quarterback played in eight games, completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns, one interception and a 109.0 passer rating. So McCown and Wilson already have a feel for each other.

You have to respect Mike Maccagnan and Woody Johnson for learning a lesson after their first two years working together. Instead of spending like drunken sailors like they did for two years, they are spending more more pragmatically this off-season.

Wilson is a good football player and they got him cheap. DeMario Davis took a pay cut from $3 to $1 million when he was traded back to the Jets.

We will see how the Jets do this year, but I think this is a much better approach than the frivolous spending that didn’t lead to such great results.

June 20, 2017

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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