NY Jets: Time to part ways with Dee Milliner


With injuries and lack of playing time with the NY Jets, it’s time for them to consider parting ways with cornerback Dee Milliner.

The year was 2013, the Jets had just traded away their star cornerback in the form of Darrelle Revis. New general manager John Idzik had two first-round draft picks, the 9th overall and the 13th overall. Idzik chose cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth pick and Sheldon Richardson with the thirteenth. Many Jet fans were ecstatic over the choices and things were looking up for the Jets it seemed at the time.

Fast forward to 2015. Richardson, despite off the field issues, is developing better than most imagined. He’s become a star for the Jets and a major force along their defensive line. The accolades keep coming for Richardson and he’s worked hard developing his game. Meanwhile, his fellow first-round classmate hasn’t done as well.

Milliner was proclaimed to be the “second coming” of Revis by then head coach Rex Ryan. The plan according to Ryan was to play Milliner opposite Antonio Cromartie in 2013. Unfortunately for the Jets and Milliner, that turned out to be a bit too much for the young corner to handle. Milliner struggled with injury and erratic play in his rookie campaign and Jet fans came down on the young corner.

The following year, we heard much the same from Ryan. Milliner would be the number one corner in 2014. The departure of Cromartie left the Jets with a makeshift corner situation and Milliner and Darrin Walls were the guys that would fix the holes. As we all know, that never happened, and by the end of the year Milliner was on IR and the Jets were literally pulling guys off the streets to try and stop the bleeding.

This year after a good looking camp, Milliner was once again lost to injury. Milliner was lost due to an injury to his wrist that required surgery forcing him to miss the first eight games to the season. He was activated to the Jets’ active roster on November 11th, but has seen nothing of the actual football field. The former first-rounder has sat the bench even with the loss of Revis the past two weeks.

The first week Todd Bowles chose to start Marcus Williams over Milliner, and then went with Walls when Williams was injured after making an impressive interception. In the second week of Revis’s absence, Bowles turned to Walls to start, with Williams still recovering from injury. Which lead’s to the big question: “Is Milliner’s time with the Jets done?”

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

Milliner is under contract through 2016 and counts as over $4 million dollars in cap space next year. Milliner is twenty four years old, stands at an even six feet in height and weighs in at 201 pounds. Milliner has flashed the talent the Jets saw from him in his college days at the University of Alabama, but that is all the fans have seen from him. In three years as a pro, Milliner has only managed to play in 19 games for the Jets and in that time has posted 3 interceptions and has totaled just 62 tackles.

The big question arises as Bowles has seemingly ignored the player since his return this year. After the solid camp he had this summer under Bowles’s tutelage, fans were expecting to see him in the mix this year. Bowles hasn’t played him for even a single snap to this point, and it has many fans questioning the future of the third year corner.

There are a group of fans that see the injury plagued Milliner as an outright bust, while others still would like to see more of his talents before making that claim. One thing that everyone can agree on however, is that time is ticking for Milliner as a member of the Jets. With no playing time to make his case for a return next season, the Jets will need to make a decision on his future pretty quickly.

If the Jets choose, they can try to shop Milliner in the off season. It goes without saying, but the Jets can’t expect to recoup a first rounder from Milliner. They might be able to find a corner hungry team willing to take a chance on the youngster however.

If the Jets could get a 4th or 5th round pick for him, I’d have to believe they would be ecstatic. A more likely scenario though is someone willing to gamble might offer a sixth or seventh rounder for his services. The Jets are without a seventh rounder next year, so it might suffice, if Bowles has seen enough of him.

Of course the Jets may not be done with him at all. If the Jets see Cromartie as a one year player, they may be looking at Milliner as his replacement. They may see him as the guy to play opposite Revis next year, but if they do, it seems they would be getting him some snaps down the stretch, especially with Revis out the last two weeks. The use of Milliner this year makes little sense.

The plans for Milliner’s future is very cloudy at this point. If the Jets had interest in trading him, you’d expect them to give him playing time in hopes that he could up his stock on the trade market, even some marginal time. It hasn’t happened. If they were grooming him to take over Cromartie’s spot, you would expect some starting time, even back up duty. Again it hasn’t happened.

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Of course the Jets could just simply cut him next year, saving themselves some cap room. The other option is they can let him play out his final year of his contract and see what happens. The Jets have options when it comes to Milliner, but the lack of playing time leads me to believe he is gone at season’s end. The writing is on the wall and with no playing time to erase it, Milliner’s future with the Jets seems sealed in my opinion.

Time for the fans to tell us here at The Jet Press what they think of Milliner. Does he have a future here in New York? Will they trade him? Cut him? Hold onto him? Please leave us a comment below and help us Talk Jet Football!!