Denzel Mims has disclosed the reasons behind his unhappiness with the New York Jets after making it on the team's 53-man roster. The wide receiver, who was drafted out of the second round in 2020, has requested a trade as he wants to be a starter and feels like he's shown enough to deserve the role yet is still being considered a backup by his coaches.
Head coach Robert Saleh has said that Mims is behind Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and rookie Garrett Wilson.
The 24-year-old voiced his frustrations to reporters late last week, claiming the members of the coaching staff have made their minds up as it pertains to who they want starting despite him already proving that he should be among such players.
"I feel like I already pretty much [proved it], from OTAs until now," the player lamented, per NFL.com. "I mean, they're pretty set on who they want.
"I feel like, yeah, I feel like [the coaches] have made their mind up, honestly," Mims said. "But I feel like I can change their mind on that. I feel like I've been doing that. Their minds are pretty made up, though."
Team GM Joe Douglas revealed the Jets had discussions with other teams over a potential trade but didn't take any offers seriously because they didn’t match the player's value, though he didn't rule out a move before the midseason trade deadline. Douglas also noted that the team never considered waiving Mims.
The former Baylor star asked for a trade before the Jets' third preseason outing and had a monster game, making seven catches for 102 yards, as well as a touchdown, yet that has gotten him no closer to moving ahead of the aforementioned players on the depth chart.
He played some special teams during the preseason but that's obviously not where he feels he should be.
"I have no problem playing special teams, I don't at all, but I feel like I'm a starting receiver," he said.
Mims expects to be inactive for New York's opening game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are favored to win the opener by New York NFL betting sites, plus all of the other major online sportsbooks.
"Of course I'm going to be frustrated that I'm not playing with the starters, but I've got to continue to work," he added.
The frustration boiled over in August and Mims' agent released a statement in which it was claimed that the player wished to be traded, after which he put on his most impressive performance since joining the Jets.
The wide receiver insists he loves the organization and his teammates but he feels he is deserving of a starting role.
"I wouldn't say he wants to be somewhere else; he wants to play," Douglas pointed out. "He wants to start. Denzel is very confident. He has voiced that, that he wants to be a starter. Ultimately, you want a team full of guys that feel like they should be the No. 1 guy."
Mims has only made 31 receptions in his two seasons since being drafted by the Jets and hasn't yet scored a touchdown in competitive action. The team has used a second-round pick to bring in Moore and a first-round pick for Wilson since drafting him.
The player feels stuck as he is unable to change his coaches' minds if he doesn’t get playing time as a starter.
"That's tough, not being out there with the 1s and being able to show it," he remarked. "I feel like I deserve to be with the 1s."
Saleh remains adamant Mims will continue to be part of the New York setup despite his request to be traded and the GM refusing to rule out a later move. The head coach called the player's performance in the final preseason game over the New York Giants “gritty,” adding he “fought all the way through” during the win.
The coach noted Douglas will be a determining factor in the way the situation is dealt with but, ultimately, he doesn’t expect Mims to leave as he's one of the best wideouts on the roster.
"Like I've said, he's one of our six best receivers and he’s gonna be here as far as I'm concerned," Saleh was quoted as saying.
The Jets don't see the player going anywhere unless they receive an offer that's simply too good to turn down. The team has very little motivation to trade Mims right now but his value could soar if there are several wideout injuries before the deadline on November 1.