New York Jets: Buster Skrine One of Five Worst Signings per Pro Football Focus
The Jets have gotten wide acclaim for the job they have done in free agency. Yesterday, we reported that ESPN gave the Jets an “A-“, for all of the moves they have made so far. But not everyone is happy with the Jets performance.
A report in Pro Football Focus indicated that the Jets made one of the five worst signings in the NFL this year, with the signing of Buster Skrine:
This one didn’t make sense at the time, but made even less sense after the Jets signed Antonio Cromartie for an even more lucrative deal just days later. Performance aside, they paid Skrine the 15th-most guaranteed money (four-year, $25m, $13m guaranteed) of any cornerback in the league to come in and be the Jets’ nickel corner. That’s bad business from the outset. When you look at Skrine’s past production it gets even worse.
The fifth-year cornerback was the weak link in the Browns’ secondary ever since he was thrust into the nickelback role in 2012. Skrine was promoted to starter in 2013 and turned in overall grades of -12.1 and -6.3 in the two subsequent seasons. He’s simply been a below average player over the course of his career, and even though he has played slot corner, he’s never stood out. His lowest passer rating against from the slot over the past three seasons is 95.5 and that came last year.
There are two other pretty glaring concerns with the deal, the first being Skrine’s limited stature at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds. Undersized corners around the league tend to have a suppressed market due to many teams being unwilling to sign them. The other issue is Skrine’s egregious penalty problem from a year ago. He committed 17 penalties, the most at the position in the PFF era. There are so many red flags in this deal that it is easily the worst one we’ve seen yet this offseason.
PFF is certainly entitled to their opinion. You all know that I use their grades on this site quite often. But they are being over critical here. Buster Skrine is a young versatile cornerback. Take a look at him on film right here by Sean Durham to see what we mean.
Skrine’s penalties have to be taken with a grain of salt. Every defensive back saw a spike in their penalties last season, thanks to the concentration on illegal contact calls by the referees. Skrine is always around the football, and marks an upgrade for the Jets.
Next: New York Jets Receive an A- in Free Agency