The Jets officially have their replacement for Darrelle Revis.
On Saturday, the organization announced the signing of former Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne.
It reportedly is a one-year, $5 million prove-it deal for the oft-injured defensive back.
The question now is: Will he be keeping No. 24, coincidentally Revis’ old number.
The Jets set out to upgrade their secondary, first by releasing Revis, their former 2007 first-rounder whom they lured back in 2015 with a five-year, $70 million deal that included $39 million guaranteed. Then the front office targeted a veteran free agent to take his spot. Enter Claiborne, a first-round pick in 2012 who played his first five seasons in Dallas.
But he comes with red flags too.
The 5-11, 188-pound corner has had plenty of setbacks that have curtailed his on-field production. Last season, he suffered a groin injury that cost him nine games before suffering a hip injury when he returned for the playoffs. Claiborne also missed five games in 2015 of ankle and hamstring injuries after missing the final 12 games of the 2014 season with a torn patellar tendon. He also underwent wrist surgery before his rookie season.
But when healthy, Claiborne has proved to be a valuable asset in the secondary.
He’s recorded four interceptions, 26 pass defensed, four fumble recoveries (including one for a touchdown as a rookie), a forced fumble, and 151 tackles in 47 games (43 starts).
Only time will tell if Claiborne will stay healthy in 2017, but it would be hard for his production to be much worse than Revis’ 2016 campaign.
His steep decline from being the NFL’s premier shutdown corner became even more noticeable last year when he admittedly dealt with “a weight problem” after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. Revis looked like a shell of himself for much of the year, recording his lone interception in Week 17 of the Jets’ 5-11 season.
His poor play eventually led to his release at the start of free agency, shortly after his arrest following a street fight in Pittsburgh. However, during a preliminary hearing last week, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed all four of the felony charges against Revis, who is now a free agent.
Notes & quotes: The Jets also announced that San Francisco free-agent wide receiver Quinton Patton visited. Patton, 26, was a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in 2013 and set career highs with 37 receptions and 408 yards receiving.