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Questioning bust label for Dee Milliner of Jets

Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Tony Washington (12) breaks a tackle by New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) and New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Tony Washington (12) breaks a tackle by New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) and New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets have released cornerback Dee Milliner.  Some have labeled him a bust.  However, is he really one?

The New York Jets selected cornerback Dee Milliner ninth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.  He was supposed to be the answer after Darrelle Revis left for Tampa Bay.  However, it didn’t turn out that way.

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Unfortunately, we never got to see the real Milliner after that.  He battled through injuries to play 13 games in 2013, and he only played in a total of five regular season games in 2014 and 2015. Injuries, unfortunately, derailed both seasons.

Such is life in the NFL, which could stand for “Not For Long”.  Everyone is replaceable, especially broken pieces. The best ability in the league is availability.  If you’re not available, you’re expendable, and because of injuries, Milliner was expendable.

With that being said, Milliner isn’t a bust simply because he failed to live up to expectations based on his ninth overall selection.

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When thinking of busts these names are most prominent: Akili Smith, David Carr, Jamarcus Russell, Brian Bosworth and of course, the poster child for NFL busts, Ryan Leaf.  We shouldn’t put Milliner in the same category as those guys.

We shouldn’t put Milliner in the same category as those guys.

Many of those players were on active rosters for multiple full seasons, and they proved they were unworthy of their hype coming into the NFL.

Most notably Russell who is no longer in the NFL. Simply because he didn’t care about playing football, and he became too happy with his Oakland Raiders contract.

After his first season, when he showed some promise, Milliner never got an opportunity to show his true skills at the NFL level.  Injuries were the cause of him no longer having an NFL team, not poor play.

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His career is undoubtedly a disappointment.  However, he is not a bust simply because he was drafted ninth overall.  As a result of injuries, we will never know whether or not he could truly live up to expectations.

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