New York Jets: Should the Team Release Stephen Hill?

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | With all the positives coming out of the New York Jets' 2013 season, it had an all too familiar ending: the Jets offense is still subpar and they are still dealing with a struggling quarterback. Looking at their roster, there's no question the Jets need a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball.


Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was supposed to be the Jets' go-to guy, but that plan never worked out, so expect him to be let go this offseason. That leaves the Jets with Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Stephen Hill -- Kerley and Nelson are both solid receivers and can contribute. Hill, on the other hand, is a different story.

The s econd-year, speedy receiver was supposed to step up and be the Jets' playmaker (at least that's why they drafted him); he was supposed to step up and be the team's No. 1 receiver in the absence of Holmes early in the season. The receiver turned out to be a disappointment instead.

At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Hill is a prototypical receiver, who also happens to have blazing speed. But that's where it ends. Hill is still a very raw wide receiver that needs work on his route-running and his focus. In his rookie season, Hill finished with only 21 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns, and had several critical drops that season. At the beginning of the 2013 season, Hill looked like he put his rookie season behind him and was ready to be the Jets' No. 1 receiver; In Hill's first three games, he hauled in 14 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. But after his good start, Hill disappeared.

Hill was hampered by a nagging left knee injury all season, and it showed. The receiver finished the season with just 24 receptions for 342 yards and one touchdown. But that isn't the only reason why he struggled. In Marty Mornhinweg's offense, which works on precision and timing, Hill's weak route-running is the main reason why the receiver has been struggling. Hill can no longer be a one-trick pony and rely on his speed to stretch the field. He needs to focus on learning his routes, work on his footwork and keep his eyes on the ball.

And that's where the problem lies.

With the Jets looking for immediate results, and with money to spend this offseason -- and with players like Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks and Golden Tate, to name a few, available in free agency -- the Stephen Hill experiment may already be over.

(All stats and information via ESPN and NFL.com)

Jonathan Peralta is a proud New Yorker that has been covering the New York Jets and the NFL on various sports websites the past few years. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, the Star-Ledger, Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports Yardbarker. For sports news and updates, follow @itsJPeralta on Twitter.

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