New York Jets: Destiny brings Revis Island back to Milliner


Let’s rewind back to 2013 for the New York Jets and Darrelle Revis, again engaged in contract negotiations. A new general manager was in the fold trying to make the decision that would define his legacy with the green and white. Days before the 2013 NFL Draft, a trade was consummated between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jets in which the former all-pro was sent to Tampa in exchange for multiple draft choices.

Putting the Jets in an interesting position, now holding two of the top-15 picks in the draft. Now a vacant space had opened up in their secondary, but the board always says fill the best player available over forcing a need. The original intention of the Jets seemed to be adding a dynamic play maker to their offense.

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The Jets had their proverbial eyes set on Tavon Austin, but as fate would have it St. Louis wanted him bad enough to leap frog the Jets and snatch him a pick before the Jets were on the clock. Drama set in, who was the backup plan?

With the 9th overall pick the Jets ended up selecting Dee Milliner out of Alabama. Nick Saban has quite the reputation for producing NFL caliber talent. Especially when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, consistently providing NFL ball clubs with intelligent and hard working individuals.

Some of you may be thinking ‘technically’ Milliner had nothing to do with Revis trade. The Jets already had the 9th overall pick, though that is true, Milliner never would have been selected if Revis wasn’t traded nor would he have been drafted if the Jets didn’t get the 13th overall pick involved in that trade. Having picks that close to each other gave the Jets a lot of flexibility in the draft to do what they wanted.

Sep 14, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver

Jordy Nelson

(87) catches a 33 yard pass with New York Jets cornerback

Dee Milliner

(27) defending during the second half of a game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows what has happened to Milliner in his two seasons in the NFL as he’s been plagued by injuries as he had been in college. He’s yet another player on the Jets whose shown flashes of brilliance and a barrage of inconsistency. Before arguably the best off season for the Jets in the past decade, Milliner was slotted to return as the #1 corner on the roster. Add Revis, Cromartie and Buster Skrine to the mix and at best he’s the 4th corner on the roster. Oh my, how times change as in the NFL, anything can happen.

But this appears to be a blessing in disguise for Milliner. No longer does he bare the weight of being ‘the guy’ as he can recover without being forced into action as he was last season. Though he can’t slack off too much since this new regime has no ties to Milliner. They will have no ill-will toward cutting him if he doesn’t perform in spring. Dexter McDougle on the other hand has been impressing in camp thus far and the Jets have a host of other corners on the roster with a lot of potential.

The Jets have one of the best defensive secondary’s in the league and if Milliner can stay healthy, a big if, he can sit and learn from one of the best players in franchise history. And hopefully Revis can rub off on the young talented Milliner and he can be the heir apparent everyone projected him to be so early.

Aug 4, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) walks out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Being a top-10 pick in the draft there are already such high expectations, being in one of the largest markets in the world, multiplies that 10-fold. Replacing Revis? Impossible. He was never going to replace Revis, but all the realistic fans knew that already. I think I speak for all Jets fans who are reading this that if Milliner ends up being average, I think we’ll all at least be content.

It’s all about staying healthy as less pressure on him will hopefully result in more success on the football field. It’s ironic that Milliner was ‘destined’ to replace Revis, the seemingly demi-god among NFL cornerbacks. Now Revis has returned to his proverbial throne, known around the world as “Revis Island” which means no matter who you are, you aren’t going to enjoy your visit.

Overall, this will all only bode well for Milliner as he’s only going to improve and finally rest up to deliver results fully healthy. We here at The Jet Press would love to hear your thoughts on if Milliner shed the ‘bust’ label that many have put on him thanks to having a new mentor in town. Can he be a viable starter in this league? Share your opinions by commentating below!

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