Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comIt is a hard time to acquire talent anywhere on an NFL roster but with Dee Milliner’s high ankle sprain, Dex McDougle’s season-ending injury and the cutting of Dimitri Patterson the Jets are searching for corner depth due as Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen are set to start in base sets.
In addition to these four veterans we already wrote about, here’s a high-level look at some players who might be able to provide varying degrees of help for this Jets secondary.
CB Leon McFadden (Browns) — Moving on from a 2013 third rounder is the Browns loss and all upside for the Jets. McFadden might not be ready to play right now as he came out of the Mountain West conference, and it makes for a hard jump to the NFL. He’s had some trouble with penalties, a sign that his knowledge and technique both need improvement. McFadden has the athleticism to play the part of an NFL corner, likely on the interior, but he needs to get better technically along with being more aggressive at the line of scrimmage. At a bare minimum, he knows the general scheme and terminology of the Jets defense having just learned it from Pettine. While McFadden might have been a disappointment for Cleveland, given some time with the Jets there might be potential.
CB Jonathan Joseph (Texans) — Could the Jets trade for Joseph? Joseph has missed the entire preseason as he recuperates from surgery on his toe, but the word out of Houston is that Joseph expects to be ready for this weekend’s opener. Joseph carries a $11.25 million cap number which would make any trade difficult, but Daily News’ Manish Mehta thinks Joseph is a player to “keep an eye on” in relation to the Jets. If healthy, Joseph would provide an immediate starter for the Jets once Joseph is healthy and clears any medical examinations. We would imagine that if the Jets were to trade with the Texans, a second or third day draft pick would be part of the package, as would some cap relief on the part of the Texans. It’s a highly unlikely scenario, but if it happens it would likely need to take place on Monday.
Waived / Free Agents
CB Derek Cox (Ravens) — After signing a four year $20 million deal to the Chargers in 2013, Cox has done little to impress. He was among the Vikings first cuts this summer and the Ravens tried him out for about a week before sending him walking. He’d be best served as a reserve with little upside on the Jets.
CB James Dockery (Panthers) — Dockery saw time as a backup in five appearances for the Panthers tearing his labrum, which ended his season. The Panthers have moved on looking for someone who could offer more value. He’d be a backup on the Jets.
CB Jamell Fleming (Jaguars) — Fleming was a 2012 third-round pick in Arizona but was pushed out last year of a good Cardinals secondary before landing with HC Gus Bradley (former DC in Seattle) in Jacksonville. Fleming was was known as a press corner during his time in college at Oklahoma and seemed a schematic fit for Bradley’s scheme and saw action in eight games in 2013. The Jaguars saw more upside in Demetrius McCray and Jeremy Harris and decided to move on from Fleming. He might not be a long-term answer for the Jets, but he could come in and play in Rex’s scheme.
CB Dominique Franks (Ravens) — After playing as a core special teamer last year with the Falcons, Franks was competing this summer for a role in sub-packages for the Ravens behind Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. Franks offers nickel/dime and special teams potential for the Jets.
CB Brandon Harris (Texans) — Harris was the 60th overall pick in the 2011 draft and has struggled to find a role with the Texans as either a slot or exterior corner. He’d be tabbed for backup work at best with the Jets.
S Robert Lester (Panthers) — A 2013 undrafted free agent, Lester appeared in 12 games as a rookie for the Panthers and graded out well in coverage , starting four games and playing 336 snaps on defense. Lester graded out as the league’s 12th best coverage safety in Ron Rivera’s defense. He’s a player who the Jets could use to bolster their back-end coverage while they wait for the return of Dee Milliner up front.
S Danieal Manning (Bengals) — Manning might be a replacement level talent at this point and is rumored to be coming close to a deal with the Texans, but the veteran would be a steadying force for the Jets in coverage work. Manning is now 32, but there’s no shame in getting pushed off the Bengals roster in favor of Reggie Nelson and George Iloka.