The Jets season should be all about Sam Darnold's future focused on development and the parent company's general manager Mike Maccagnan has to spend this offseason. But for some players the 2018 season is important. It is important for their pocket books and the path that their careers could be directed next season.
Among these is the great receiver Quincy Enunwa, who is a free agent without restrictions at the end of the year.
After sitting out last season with a neck injury, he needed a productive 2018 to attract interest as a free agent and maximize any offer the Jets could present. But he was injured and played with a novice quarterback with growing pains as he threw four interceptions in a 13-6 defeat at the Dolphins last week, where the offense continued to struggle.
Darnold is listed as a doubt for Sunday's game against the Bills at MetLife Stadium, with veteran Josh McCown getting his first start of the season. This could really hope for Enunwa to have that kind of big day that will be remembered when the free agency arrives.
McCown did not play all season as the Jets delivered the franchise to Darnold, but he made 13 appearances last year and 73 during his 16-year career. He has seen every defense and if he heats up, Enunwa is the main target against the Bills.
"Obviously, they're two different players and two different quarterbacks," said Enunwa, 21-year-old Darnold and McCown, 39. "You'll always have to figure out and get ready for the whole week and know what a quarterback likes over the other. [McCown] all year The playing time is just putting the lights in it. "
Enunwa leads the Jets in receptions with 25 and is the second in yardage with 327. He has a touchdown and is able to finish with just 581 yards and two or three touchdowns for the year. These are certainly not the kind of numbers to make money in free agency.
Enunwa is earning $ 2.9 million on a one-year contract signed earlier this season after injuring his neck during last season's retirement. This was the year to prove his worth and gain the leverage he was missing a year ago.
He was slowed by a high sprained ankle, missing matches against the Vikings and Bears, and captured only four passes for 49 yards in the last three games played. This type of production will not allow him to obtain an increase in the current business.
With seven games left this season, there's plenty of time for Enunwa to improve its value. But it needs to intensify its production. McCown's experience could be of help.
"I'll be where he needs me to be so it's easy for him," said Enunwa. "This way we automatically have that connection."
Before Enunwa thinks to impress the other teams, he must impress the Jets, with whom he will probably have his greatest value. The Jets will need to find legitimate and long-term Darnold weapons. Robby Anderson is a limited free agent after this season, and Jermaine Kearse is ready for a new deal.
Enunwa had a number of intangible assets in her favor, such as her ability to play through pain, her leadership and her willingness to win.
Enunwa had one of those extra-effort games in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins, when he took a short pass and transported around four tacklers for a huge gain in the midfield. These types of games can not be measured on a data sheet.
"This is my game," said Enunwa. "I just want to go out there and be that person, I just want to be the person when you give me the ball, I can be that spark for the offense, I feel like I've been here since I was here."
The Jets and the rest of the NFL need to see more.