Free agent options for Jets to sign to replace injured cornerbacks

There aren't many options to fortify a hurting secondary, but Metro takes a look at a few options.

Asante Samuel is the biggest name at corner left on the market. Credit: Getty Images Asante Samuel is the biggest name at corner left on the market.
Credit: Getty Images

 

The Jets took a double blow to their secondary on Sunday when Dexter McDougle and Dee Milliner both had to be helped off the field with injuries.

 

The news on McDougle, a third-round pick out of Maryland this year, was immediately bad. He tore his left ACL and will miss the entire 2014 season. McDougle wouldn't have been a starter, but was expected to play as a dime cornerback and hopefully develop into a starter in the years to come. Now, that is on hold as he will spend the next year rehabbing from a major knee injury.

 

Milliner, on the other hand, was expected to start this season opposite Dimitri Patterson. The second-year corner, coming off an inconsistent rookie year, reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain when he landed awkwardly challenging a pass to receiver Quincy Enunwa. High ankle sprains are notoriously tough to come back from, meaning it's unlikely Milliner will be ready by the start of the season. The injury could certainly creep into the first few weeks of the season depending on the severity.

 

And of course there's Patterson, who sat out Sunday's practice with a minor injury. Patterson was burned repeatedly in his first game as a member of the Jets. Granted, it was just one preseason game, but the early returns on the free agent signing were very disappointing.

At this stage in the game, a few weeks into training camp, there aren't many options to fortify a hurting secondary, but Metro takes a look at a few options.

1. Asante Samuel

The Daily News has already reported the Jets have inquired about Samuel, who is a three-time All Pro. But the same report indicates the Jets are unlikely to sign the 33-year-old veteran, who last played for the Falcons. He was relegated to just 11 games and part-time duty in 2013, but he did have two forced turnovers (one fumble, one interception). He's well past his prime, but probably the best option nonetheless.

2. Jabari Greer

The veteran of 10 years is also still on the market, and he told ESPN just last week he is not calling it quits on his career. The 32-year-old spent the last five seasons in New Orleans, and Jets fans likely remember his tenure with Buffalo for his first five years in the league. The biggest reason Greer hasn't signed, and the biggest reason the Jets may pass, is that he tore his ACL and PCL last season with the Saints and is just 10 months removed from the injury. He is ready to get back on the field, but he may not be 100 percent by the start of the season.

3. Dunta Robinson

Granted Robinson was a major bust for the Chiefs last season, who signed him to a three-year, $13.7 million deal, but you're not going to get a stud at this point. If he can reclaim some the form that made him a starting cornerback for nine years with Houston and Atlanta maybe you have something. It was only two years ago that he had 80 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and two forced turnovers.

4. Chris Houston

One of the younger names on this list, at 29 years old, Houston was cut by the Lions in June. He'd been signed to a five-year, $25 million deal in 2013, but as nonguaranteed deals often go, he was cut after just one season. Detroit needed to free up cap space, and with Houston coming off left big toe surgery and an underperforming season, he was the one to go. Toe surgery for a corner is one of the scariest things you can hear, but he said he'd be back to full strength by August or September in an interview with SB Nation. It's at least worth bringing him in for a workout.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.

 
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