Jets add cornerback Phillip Adams, cut Ellis Lankster
The Jets continue to try to patch their depleted secondary.
On Monday, they added 26-year-old cornerback Phillip Adams, who played for the Raiders the past two seasons, making four starts in 31 games. He spent time in camp with Seattle this summer and was one of its final roster cuts Saturday.
Adams also has played for the 49ers and Patriots. In 53 games, he has 51 tackles (11 on special teams), eight passes defended and three interceptions.
The Adams signing came a day after the Jets were awarded former Browns cornerback Leon McFadden off waivers. To make room for McFadden on the roster, they released LeQuan Lewis but signed him to their practice squad.
But Rex Ryan's makeshift secondary just might catch a break in Week 1. The Raiders plan to start rookie quarterback Derek Carr instead of veteran Matt Schaub (elbow injury).
Even before the Carr news was made official, however, Ryan expressed confidence in his merry-go-round at cornerback. Asked on a conference call if he's comfortable with this inexperienced group, he said: "Oh, no question about it."
Ryan's confidence notwithstanding, there still are plenty of reasons to be concerned:
Starter Dee Milliner still is nursing a high ankle sprain and it seems unlikely that he'll play Week 1. When asked about Milliner's status, Ryan would only say "it's too early to tell."
Antonio Allen, the young safety the Jets converted to cornerback, has been sidelined by a concussion. And although Ryan said Allen had "an excellent day" while wearing a red non-contact jersey during Friday's practice, it's unclear how Allen will feel by Sunday.
McFadden, a 2013 third-round draft pick of the Browns, had a league-high eight penalties in the preseason.
To add depth to their linebacker corps, the Jets re-signed A.J. Edds, whom they cut Saturday, and released veteran corner Ellis Lankster. Though Lankster had more of an impact on special teams (second in tackles behind Nick Bellore), his departure shows the secondary is very much in flux.
Injuries can't be predicted, but they should be expected in a game with a 100-percent injury rate, as Ryan likes to point out. To compound the problem, the Jets signed veteran corner Dimitri Patterson to replace Antonio Cromartie, then cut him before the regular season.
The Jets released Patterson on Saturday, less than a week after he was suspended for going AWOL for 48 hours and missing a preseason game. Patterson later denied that his absence was unexcused in an interview with ESPN.
General manager John Idzik, who joined Ryan on the conference call, refused to get into specifics about Patterson's release. "In the end, it just felt appropriate that we move on from Dimitri," he said.
Idzik also wouldn't acknowledge whether Patterson's statement to ESPN forced the organization's hand. "I don't know if anything changed," he said. "I think it really was taking that time to go through all of the facts . . . and I had follow-up conversations with him, just to really accurately ascertain what went on. And ultimately, does it fit for the team? And in the end, we felt like we did what is best for the New York Jets in releasing him."
Does Idzik have any regrets about signing Patterson, oft-injured and a member of seven teams in 10 years? "I would call Dimitri Patterson a legitimate cornerback," he said. "That's why we signed him . . . We don't look back. There's no regrets. We're in a people business, and you can't anticipate some things that may happen."