Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWith the recent news that the Jets will indefinitely suspend cornerback Dimitri Patterson due to his absence without leave over the weekend, the Jets have some tough decisions ahead of them regarding their secondary. Now counting the suspended Patterson, the Jets only have one of their projected secondary starters active and healthy as they enter the last week of the preseason and they have lost key rookie reserve Dexter McDougle to a season-ending injury.
Kyle Wilson might be able to fill in as a starter in a pinch, but the Jets use of Antonio Allen as a corner indicates the team’s lack of faith in players like Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster and young turk Johnny Patrick. Sliding Dawan Landry instead of Antonio Allen into the second starting safety spot is manageable, but it is the concerns about the first through third cornerback spots that are most concerning while Milliner deals with his high ankle sprain. Patterson has demonstrated that he can neither be helpful on or off the field and the rest of the secondary seems to be puddling onto the floor.
So what will the Jets do? If they consider going out onto the veteran free agent market there is a real caveat emptor vibe. Here’s the “top” names available:
Last Team: Atlanta Falcons
Analysis: The Jets reached out to free agent CB Asante Samuel after Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle were injured a few weeks ago, but at the time it was stated that the Jets were unlikely to sign him.
FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo chimed in on the matter, saying that the Jets were trying to “bargain shop,” but Samuel wasn’t interested when the Jets made the low offer. It would seem that if the money isn’t right, Samuel won’t come back to the game because the market for him has been dry for him since the Falcons cut him in February. Samuel would be a potential Week 1 starter for the Jets if the money was right.
Last Team: New Orleans Saints
Analysis: Free agent CB Jabari Greer stated in July that he is not actively looking for an NFL team isn’t sure if he would return to the field, especially after tearing his his ACL, PCL and total posterior lateral compartment last November and might end his career. Greer was cut by the Saints in February in a salary cap purge that gave the Saints room to net Champ Bailey. Greer would be familiar with the Rob Ryan scheme, but it remains to be seen whether he’s healthy enough to return to the field.
Last Team: Seattle Seahawks
Analysis: Thomas had back-to-back tears of his right ACL in 2011 and 2012 while he was with the Giants and looked promising last year for Big Blue, appearing in all 16 games and logging 588 snaps. This offseason, Thomas signed with his old USC coach Pete Carroll to be a backup corner in the Legion of Boom, but Thomas never made it out of camp. Thomas lost out on a roster spot to both Tharold Simpson and Jeremy Lane and was cut over the weekend.
Last Team: Detroit Lions
Analysis: Florence lasted 12 days on the roster in Detroit after a strong 2013 in Carolina. The eleven-year veteran started five games last year (26 TACK, 2 INT, 9 PD) with the Carolina Panthers before signing a deal less than a month ago to join the Lions. Florence’s play last season with the Panthers might have been boosted with the Panthers dominant play from their front-seven and a solid if unspectacular secondary. It’s not a good look that a cornerback-needy team like the Lions would release him so quickly, but Florence should still be in consideration for the Jets as they might have the closest recissssssssssssssspe to the 2013 Panthers — at least defensively.