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Mason trade opens door for Jets' Kerley

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Posted Oct. 14, 2011 @ 11:52 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

As the Jets work to find their identity on offense, we know it won't include Derrick Mason. The team traded the veteran slot receiver this week, and while the front office maintained it was due to Mason's lack of production, there was clearly more going on behind the scenes.

On the field, this means it is time for rookie WR Jeremy Kerley to step up. During camp we heard the team was very high on Kerley, and now he has an opportunity to make an impact. He had three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown last week and is also the team's punt returner.

"He was impressive from the day he got here, and it's just getting better and better. We're really excited about Jeremy," Rex Ryan said.

Despite the lofty expectations set upon him by his head coach, Kerley won't have a ton of pressure to make big plays, as he will likely be Mark Sanchez's fifth target behind Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, TE Dustin Kelller and RB LaDainian Tomlinson. But Kerley will need to prove he can be a receiving threat who will help keep defenses honest, opening up a passing game that has struggled this season. 

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