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Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to four-year, $16M extension

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Jeremy Kerley was a proud find for the Jets, a player whom they discovered while working out quarterback and college teammate Andy Dalton back in 2011 before the draft and liked enough to select in the fifth round.

Now, they are planning to keep him around for a while.

According to the team's official Twitter account, Kerley agreed to a four-year extension on Tuesday. (He looks thrilled!) NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source who has seen the deal, that it's worth $16 million with just $5.4 million guaranteed.

The 5-foot-9 receiver is on pace for more than 90 targets again this season and has averaged more than 40 catches per year in each of his first three seasons.

On the heels of the Percy Harvin acquisition, general manager John Idzik is showing that he's not afraid to spend on wide receivers. The team forked over $36.25 million for Eric Decker in free agency as well.

At the moment, Kerley is one of the few reliable targets on hand for Geno Smith and is versatile enough to move around the offense. So far this season, he has 22 receptions for 201 yards and one touchdown.

The Jets waited for an opportune time to strike with Kerley, hitting him in the middle of a down season. Though Kerley's drop-off is more than likely related to the Jets' poor quarterback play, he certainly warranted consideration for a long-term extension. The price, though, hints that Kerley might very well have been a better haggler than his general manager, who is known for his stubbornness at the negotiation table.

The Broncos got Emmanuel Sanders for three years and $15 million, with just a little more money in guarantees. The Patriots signed Julian Edelman for four years and $17 million with $8 million guaranteed. Still, Kerley has long been a favorite of the Jets' coaching staff for his ability to read defenses and find soft spots in coverage, so Idzik wasn't shy about forking over the money.

The move allows the general manager to reward some homegrown talent, though it continues to raise flags about the way he spent money in the offseason. Idzik could have had several players for roughly the same price in addition to Kerley, but opted to stick with a group that has him at 1-6.

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