As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops,
My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop;
As a matter of taste to be exact he’s my ideal as a matter of fact.
— “My Guy” lyrics by Smokey Robinson, sung by Mary Wells
My guy Jeff Janis will gain his freedom on March 14 – the day unrestricted free agents can execute a contract with a new club. Mike McCarthy, though he needs receivers in the worst way, has done everything within his power to ruin Janis’ career.
If you don’t already know what I think of Janis, I made my case long ago that he’s the most athletic wide receiver to ever go through the NFL Combine – yes, EVER.
The Packers have for four years utterly squandered a remarkable athlete and playmaker. And don’t try to tell me that two catches in each of the last two years was giving him a fair opportunity. Fly away Jeff – there are those who are not blind to your talents.
At least a half-dozen teams should be pursuing Janis – big, speedy, agile receivers aren’t as common as you might think. Janis is a four-year veteran, and he’s entering his physical prime. He is also durable – his only injuries have been broken fingers in high school and in 2016. This, despite being a rugged special teams gunner for three years.
The topper: he’s likely to be available at a rock-bottom price. I really don’t know how a team could lose: for $2-3 million per year. The Packers signed Ricky Jean Francois for $3 million last year. The very worst scenario is that a team would acquire a reliable and versatile receiver who doubles as a special teams talent. Acquiring Janis is a risk-free venture.
If that’s not enough, he’s a fine man, husband, father, and teammate.
Teams Needing Janis
A blog found at thesportsster.com rated each NFL team’s No. 1 wide receiver during 2017. This should be a good resource for predicting where Janis might be playing in 2018. Here are some possibilities:
Other possibilities: Chiefs, Tyreek Hill; Seahawks, Doug Baldwin; and Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald. Hill is a whippet, Baldwin is small and slow, and Fitzgerald has to be nearing retirement.
My No. 1 pick: Chicago Bears. Kendall Wright, at 185 pounds, has regressed in his six years in the league. Playing in every game last year for his new team, he was a disappointment, and caught only one TD pass. No one else on the Bears had more than 376 yards receiving last season. This would be a mutually beneficial deal, as QB Mitchell Trubisky should start justifying his second overall draft pick status as soon as he gets a talented receiver. And won’t Janis be psyched when he lines up opposite Mike McCarthy’s team twice a year?
No. 2: 49ers. Marquise Goodwin caught only 53 percent of his targets. Janis is six inches taller and 41 pounds heavier than the mini-speedster. The 49ers next best wide receivers are Pierre Garcon and Trent Taylor – neither had over 500 yards last season. Jimmy Garoppolo and Janis: made in heaven!
No. 3: Browns. Ricardo Louis, with a 44 percent catch ratio, is strikingly unproductive – he creates little separation. Josh Gordon is explosive, but off-field issues make him unreliable and high-risk. Duke Johnson, a running back/receiver who never started a game last year, is only 5’9” tall, but had fine run and receiving statistics in 2017.
No. 4: Seahawks. It’s not on the above chart, but Seattle lacks receiver speed, other than Paul Richardson – a 183-pounder. Doug Baldwin is a fine receiver but he’s slow, light (189), and he’ll be 30 in September. Janis is effective at getting open on broken plays – which matches up well with Russell Wilson’s style.
No. 5: Jaguars. Allen Hurns, undrafted in 2014, is considered by someone I follow as one of the most overrated players in the league. He’s Jacksonville’s Randall Cobb, having signed a four-year $40 million extension in 2016. His three-cone drill time is in the eighth percentile; vertical jump, seventh; 20-yard shuttle, third. He has also missed 11 games in the last two years. Allen Robinson will be coming back from an ACL injury, however. Releasing Hurns and signing Janis would be an upgrade and would save the Jags around $8 million per year.
Rag on me all you want, but it won’t phase me, because:
Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy, (My guy)
Nothing you could do ’cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy. (My guy)
I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter,
Like birds of a feather we stick together,
I’m tellin’ you from the start I can’t be torn apart from my guy.