Receiver Jeremy Kerley, who was among the 49ers cuts over the weekend, is signing a one-year deal to return to the New York Jets, as first reported by ESPN. The team released him in 2016 and he went to the Lions and then the 49ers.
In 2016, Kerley appeared in all 16 games (13 starts) for San Francisco and led the team with a career-high 64 receptions for 667 yards and three touchdowns. The Jets also signed defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas and released fullback Julian Howsare. In five seasons in NY, he caught 246 passes for 2,892 yards and 12 touchdowns. Kerley spent his first five seasons in NY before heading to the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. The following season, his role expanded dramatically, as Kerley ended up tallying 56 receptions for 827 yards and two scores while also returning one punt for a touchdown. Clearly, Bowles and Mike Maccagnan are not done making moves with the start of the 2017 season only a couple of days away. Kerley is still one of the best return men in the National Football League, and he's proven that he can hang at a high level at wide receiver as well. By his final season in NY in 2015, Kerley's role in the offense had diminished, and the Hutto, Texas native caught a single-season career-low 16 passes for 152 yards and two scores.