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While there are some medical concerns, but all things considered, it’s a potential move that makes sense for the Jets.
I’m talking about the Jets impending signing of former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Adam Schefter announced they are going to sign him. No financial details have been leaked yet.
The first reaction of some (including me) is to wonder about his durability.
Over his first five years in the league, he’s missed 35 games. Obviously, that isn’t good.
But you know what, in doing my research for the last issue of Jets Confidential Magazine, the free agent preview, one thing that jumped out at me, is how many games cornerbacks around the league miss. It’s an unbelievably injury-prone position. Dee Milliner has a lot of company. Cornerbacks get hurt a lot. They are small men playing a big man’s sport. They also do a heck of a lot of running, so they are given to hamstring and groin injuries. In fact, last year, Claiborne missed half of last season with a groin injury.
It’s a rare cornerback who is active for all 16 games. Look at the bios of the free agent corners like Prince Amukamara, D.J. Hayden, Trumaine Johnson and Sam Shields. Missed a lot of games. Look at Joe Haden in Cleveland. He’s constantly hurt. Every week during the season before I do my radio show on SiriusXM, I go over the league injury report with a fine-tooth comb, and half the reported players seem to be corners.
Look, I’m not a special-pleader for Claiborne. He’s been injury-prone. All I’m saying is he has plenty of company at that position.
And he is the last top-shelf free agent cornerbacks still available today. All the others have been signed.
And one thing to consider about Claiborne and his injuries. He came into the NFL really skinny and needed to get bigger and stronger. He’s certainly was able to do that over his five years in Dallas. I think he’s better equipped now to deal with the physical side of the job than he was earlier in his career. Hey, groin injuries are going to happen. Groin injuries aren’t a reason to stay away from a guy. He got it fixed and actually came back for the Dallas playoff game last year. Obviously before signing him, the Jets’ trainer John Mellody (pictured above), and team doctor Ken Montgomery, will have to give him an extensive physical.
I think the Jets did the right thing jumping on him today as long as they didn’t overpay. Schefter will be leaked the numbers shortly, so we will find out.
If he got $7 million per, I don’t have a big problem with that. Revis got $39 million for two years of bad work. Claiborne is much faster, quicker, younger and athletic than Revis.
The Jets basically paid $20 million a season for Revis.
So with that being said, if Claiborne got in the $7 million range, at the age of 27 (Revis was 30 when he got that insane money), that isn’t crazy.
When healthy, Claiborne is a rare talent. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2012 draft, and the Cowboys traded up to get him. He is very, very athletic and has terrific speed. The Jets’ secondary had speed issues last year. Claiborne gives the Jets a much-needed speedy corner.
March 16, 2017
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