After a holdout that cost Dee Milliner the first four days of training camp, the Jets finally came to terms with their first-round pick late on Sunday night. The signing of Milliner, the No. 9 pick in the NFL Draft, means the Jets have signed the entirety of their draft class as they look to overhaul what was a veteran roster a year ago.
Milliner’s mini-holdout was the result of an impasse over offset language in his contract. Milliner, largely considered the top cornerback in the draft, getting over that impasse was important to now get him into camp. He was expected to take a physical on Monday but did not practice with his new teammates.
Head coach Rex Ryan was excited to get his potential lockdown cornerback into training camp.
“In college, he was a tremendous player obviously,” Ryan said. “With that being said, there’s always an adjustment playing at this level.”
Shoulder surgery in March, his fifth major surgery in the past few years, kept Milliner out of rookie minicamp, offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp last month. While he was able to rehab and mentally participate in practice, he did lose valuable time in learning and interacting with the defense due to his rehabilitation.
Ryan wasn’t certain if Milliner would be back and physically ready for training camp but he praised the player for rehab work and his dedication to studying the Jets defensive scheme.
With the Jets having traded away All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis this offseason, there will forever be comparisons between Milliner and the man known as “Revis Island.” But Ryan, who never saw a Jets player he didn’t like to hype or place into Canton, would not overstate the potential impact of his rookie cornerback.
And he certainly didn’t draw any comparisons to Revis, who when healthy is arguably the top defensive player in the NFL.
“I tell you what, I hope when he plays there’s those comparisons. I understand where people are coming from but Darrelle was a special player and we’ll see how good Dee is,” Ryan said. “Dee Milliner is never going to be Darrelle Revis; he’s going to be Dee Milliner. And I hope that’s good enough.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for live coverage and photos from training camp.