The tight end Jets need, but not the one it deserves

As the New York Jets claimed tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins off of waivers, he’s what they need but not the one they deserve.

This bit of news comes as a surprise, and maybe a good one, considering the debacle the New York Jets went through in their Week 3 24-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was released from Tampa Bay on Friday after being arrested for a second DUI in three years. While the offense is largely a serious matter and he awaits to hear what kind of punishment he’ll receive from authorities this could be huge for the Jets.

Seferian-Jenkins was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and was highly-touted coming out that year. The former Washington Huskie wasn’t fully utilized until 2015 when No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Jameis Winston, came along.

Despite battling injuries in 2015 that cost him nearly half the season, he was highly productive averaging 16.1 yards per reception. He caught for 338 yards with four touchdowns in just 21 catches in 2015. Keep in mind that he did all of this in seven games.

Thus far through his career, he’s totaled 603 yards with seven touchdowns in 18 games played. That’s roughly just over a full season’s work in you were combine all those games, which would be considered really good production from that position.

The Jets have had their share of good fortune from the tight end position in recent years. They drafted Dustin Keller in the first round in 2008. Keller quickly became an essential piece in that offense once Mark Sanchez took over the following year.

Tight end Jeff Cumberland was a 2010 undrafted free agent who eventually became a factor once Geno Smith took over in 2013.

Not to mention that the previous general manager, John Idzik, drafted tight end Jace Amaro in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft just a few picks after Seferian-Jenkins.

Although all these players are no longer on the team, production from the position is nothing new.

That’s why it was a bit puzzling last year since they got not much contribution from their tight ends.

To the Jets’ offense, they didn’t need many contributions from the position with big targets like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker already there. What’s interesting is that while many are quick to think that Gailey’s offense is tight end free, he actually is no stranger with installing that position to his offense.

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Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on the field before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Gailey served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator and had the liberty to work with future Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez. That year, Gonzalez went on to make the Pro Bowl after catching for 10 touchdowns and 1,058 yards in 96 receptions. Talk about doing damage with one position.

When he served as the Buffalo Bills head coach (2010-2012), Scott Chandler was one the team’s leading receivers. In 2011 and 2012 combined, Chandler missed only three games and caught for 12 touchdowns and 960 yards in 81 receptions. It’s safe to say that Gailey’s doesn’t discriminate against tight ends. The Jets just simply haven’t had good fortune in the department as of late.

This move could bode well considering the stature of the 23-year-old. Coming into the season, he fell a bit further down the depth chart due to in-house issues with his now former head coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter kicked Seferian-Jenkins out of practice back in June for “not knowing what he was doing,” according to The Washington Post. Still, he already totaled 43 yards and a touchdown on three receptions through two games.

While there’s certainly red flags surrounding the young tight end, those flags can quickly go away with good behavior and production. If there was ever a coach that could help him turn things around, while not tolerating nonsense, it’s Todd Bowles. We already saw how quick he was to cut former defensive end IK Enemkpali after his incident with Geno Smith. Not saying that he’s hero the Jets have been waiting for, but he could be the right piece Gailey’s offense has been waiting for.

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