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The New York Jets signed cornerback Morris Claiborne to a one-year, five million dollar contract. Good move? Bad move? Let’s take a closer look at this deal.
Kristi Scales is the Cowboys’ sideline reporter, and had this to say about the Jets’ new cornerback, Mo Claiborne, who spent the first five years of his career in Dallas.
“Claiborne was having a spectacular season and starting to make plays on the ball, but he suffered another injury,” Scales said during a chat with fans. “I really like Mo, but he hasn’t shown that he can be reliable. I want a starter that I can count on. Then again, I drive a Prius, not a BMW. For many of us (especially coaches), dependability is just as important as ability.”
I’m not entirely comfortable with this quote.
There is no question Claiborne has had some injury issues, missing 35 games in five years.
But the use of the word “reliable” is a little unfair. Do you think that Claiborne wants to miss games?
To me, somebody who blows assignments or doesn’t work hard is unreliable. Somebody who tears their groin, like Claiborne did last year, might have a durability issues, but it’s unfair to call him unreliable.
“I want a starter that I can count on,” Scales said. “Then again, I drive a Prius, not a BMW. For many of us (especially coaches), dependability is just as important as ability.”
I’ve never liked this line of thinking. It comes from coaches. Laying a guilt trip on guys who get hurt. The NFL has a 100 percent injury rate. As I mentioned yesterday, cornerbacks have a very high injury late – small guys playing a big man’s sport.
Claiborne is a very good player, like Cleveland’s Joe Haden, whose also been unlucky on the injury front.
To say that he has a dependability problem is very unfair. He’s a dependable player when he’s healthy.
Perhaps a better word would be “durability” not “dependability.”
Scales is a very nice woman, but keep in mind, she works for the team, so this quote certainly helps her bosses.
The Cowboys are taking a lot of heat in Dallas for the departure of basically their entire secondary this off-season.
Based on his injury history, the Jets handled this contract situation well. They gave him a one-year deal for $5 million. True that is more than Dallas or Baltimore was willing to give him, but I have no issue with the Jets giving him that money. First of all, we all know right now the Jets aren’t a desired landing spot for free agents. So you have to sweeten the pot a tad. That is fine, as long as you don’t go too crazy, like the Revis-contract, a case of insane overspending. 1-year, $5 million is fair, and if he stays healthy, it will look like a brilliant move.
As Scales said, “Claiborne was having a spectacular season,” before the injury. This guy is a special talent. No question the Jets are rolling the dice, but considering how porous their secondary was last year, it’s a risk worth taking. He was the last top-shelf free agent corner left.
And I’ve never like the guilt trip that coaches/reporters lay on guys who legitimately get hurt.
I can assure you Claiborne didn’t want to get hurt. He wants to play.
And we will see how he plays in 2017.
If he stays healthy, this signing could be a good one.
March 17, 2017
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