Denzel Mims played his best game as a Jet in what might have been his final one in the green and white.
The wide receiver, who requested a trade from the Jets last week, caught seven passes for 102 yards and his first touchdown in Sunday’s 31-27 win over the Giants in the preseason finale.
After Mims’ terrific diving catch for a 29-yard score, he immediately got up and started pointing to his wrist as if he were wearing a watch. He said that meant: “Fever time. My time.”
Mims’ strong performance surely means it’s time for something: either for the Jets to use him more or find a new home for him.
“He’s one of our six best receivers and he’s going to be here as far as I’m concerned,” coach Robert Saleh said.
Saleh then left the door open, saying “unless . . . all the other questions are for Joe.”
Mims’ future will be determined by whether general manager Joe Douglas finds a trade he likes. The Jets don’t want to give up Mims, a second-round pick in 2020, but if Douglas gets something he feels will help them, he will make a move.
That puts Mims’ future in question in a week when there will be plenty of roster transactions and movement around the league. Teams have to trim their roster to 53 by Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, they can claim players. Douglas, who said last week he received “a few calls” on Mims, could get some more after Sunday’s performance. The Jets have no intention of cutting him.
Mims, upset with his role and usage, showed he has the ability to be a playmaker when his number is called. The former Baylor receiver played a fantastic game, making catches in traffic. He had eight catches all of last season, one more than Sunday.
“I just went out there today and I just played football,” he said. “I just took advantage of my opportunities.”
Mims, speaking for the first time since requesting a trade, wouldn’t address the request, which was made through his agent, Ron Slavin. He said he loves the Jets and has no problem with them. It’s clear he wants a bigger role, though.
Mims didn’t get in the game until late in the second quarter after the starters were taken out. He still was playing at the end of the game when many players who will be cut were on the field.
Mims said his first touchdown catch in a Jets uniform — on a pass from fourth-string quarterback Chris Streveler — was “amazing.” There was a point late in the game when he limped off, but he returned and finished the game.
Mims was on the field when Streveler hit Calvin Jackson for the winning 5-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left.
“Really, I’m just hungry,” Mims said. “And I just wanted to go out there so everyone can see what I can do.”
When Mims was asked if he would be unhappy if he’s a Jet on Tuesday night, he responded: “I can just control what I can control. I just need to come out every day and do my part, come to work every day and just grind every day.”
Mims has been healthy all offseason and camp after food poisoning cost him all of OTAs last year. It’s been an uphill climb for him to find his role.
The Jets have upgraded the receiver position the last two years by signing Corey Davis and drafting Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson. Each move dropped Mims further down the depth chart.
“Of course it’s difficult,” he said. “But I feel like I showed it every day in practice. I come out and work. I don’t complain. I do my job at a high level.”
When he was asked if his outing could lead to more opportunities with the Jets, Mims said, “We’ll see what happens.”