The New York Jets finished out 2013 22nd in the NFL in passing defense and 3rd against the run.
Seeking to change their fortune the team then cut 31 year old cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who had a bad year suffering through hip injury.
Cromartie then signed with Arizona, closing the door for a New York re-signing.
Former JETS great Darrelle Revis hit the Free agency market but was shunned by the JETS management, presumably for his past antics including a holdout; then watched in horror (at least the fans did) as he signed with another AFC EAST team who shall remain nameless.
The team hopes cornerback Dee Milliner has learned enough from future Hall of Fame inductee Ed Reed to become their number one on the field of play, worthy of the #9 overall pick in the 2012 Draft.
The JETS were unable to sign a #1 during Free agency after going after Dominique Rogers Cromartie (who famously left the JETS meeting only to go next door and sign with the New York football Giants) but did land Dimitri Patterson, on a one year $3 million deal. Released from the Miami Dolphins is now rumored to be starting opposite Milliner.
JETS cornerback Ellis Lankster was recently quoted as saying “
I feel like Dee has matured ” adding “Dee knows the game now. The last four weeks of the (2013) season, Ed Reed took Dee under his wing. He just taught him the game. As of right now, I feel like, in the future or this year, Dee is going to be one of the top corners in the NFL.”
Milliner, JETS fans will remember, was benched a couple of times during the 2013 season for playing poorly, letting the deep ball get by him but whom rebounded rather nicely at the end, even garnering rookie defensive player of the week.
The New York Jets face what has been deemed the 9th toughest schedule in 2014.
While that maybe so for another 8-8 team for the JETS it’s like murders row, facing some of the best NFL passing teams with an unproven defensive backfield.
A backfield which now includes recently signed rookie strong Safety 5’11” 207# Calvin Pryor.