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Jamison Crowder: Darnold had an effect on picking Jets

Surely the money provided the biggest incentive, but Sam Darnold's presence as the New York Jets quarterback has clearly played a part in Gang Green wooing free agents.

Days after Le'Veon Bell boasted about being Darnold's "security blanket," receiver Jamison Crowder noted that having a young QB was a factor in one of the top slot receivers to hit the market choosing New York.

"I think he's a great player," Crowder said, via the team's official website. "Last year, he was young. Just from what I've seen, I definitely think he'll be a great player, great quarterback in this league. It also had an effect on me to come here. He's very talented and last year he was able to get his feet wet, get some experience. I'm looking forward for him to have a big season this year."

Darnold made massive strides at the end of his rookie campaign, displaying playmaking inside and outside of the pocket and the accuracy that made him the No. 3 overall pick.

With less-than-elite weaponry surrounding Darnold in 2018, it took time for the signal-caller to find rapport with his targets -- players coming in and out of the lineup didn't help in that regard. Once the young QB found his footing late in the season, he helped raise the level of play throughout the offense, even if the wins didn't pile up.

With the franchise quarterback in place, Gang Green set out to find weapons that will boost the Jets forward.

Signing Le'Veon Bell garnered most of the headlines, but don't overlook Crowder's addition, as he should provide a reliable go-to security blanket for Darnold from the slot.

"The value I bring to the field is being a guy [Darnold] can target," Crowder said. "Mostly, I've had success in this league in the middle of the field using my short-area quickness, being able to find zones in the defense and win man-to-man matchups. That's what I think I can bring to this offense and I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it."

Crowder was at his best gobbling up quick passes from Kirk Cousins in 2016 and 2017 in Washington before dealing with injuries that curtailed his 2018 campaign. With the Jets looking like they could employ a questionable offensive line once again, getting the ball out of Darnold's hands quickly should be a priority. If Gang Green does indeed engage that game plan, Crowder's value will grow in 2019.

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