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Jets drop receiver Stephen Hill, cornerback Dimitri Patterson among 21 cuts

New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill walks

New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill walks off the field at the Atlantic Health practice facility. (May 24, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

The Jets' patience with Stephen Hill finally ran out.

The 2012 second-round pick was one of 21 players cut Saturday as the Jets trimmed their roster to 53 in advance of the 4 p.m. deadline.

Suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson also was released along with quarterbacks Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd (a sixth-round draft pick) and veteran linebacker Garrett McIntyre.

While some of the roster moves were puzzling, it came as no surprise that the Jets parted ways with Hill. He ended each of his first two seasons on injured reserve and caught only 45 passes for 594 yards and four touchdowns in 23 games. He played his final game in a Jets uniform on Thursday night, catching one pass for 13 yards and dropping another in a blowout loss to the Eagles.

After Thursday night's game, Hill seemed surprised by all of the questions about his status, adding that he wasn't worried about making the final cut. "Like, I don't know why I shouldn't," he told reporters.

But deep down, Hill saw the writing on the wall, a source said.

The Jets surprisingly moved up to draft the Georgia Tech product 43rd overall in 2012, knowing that he was raw and would be a project. They banked on his upside -- his athleticism and speed -- but wound up being disappointed in his production.

Hill's agent, Alan Herman, told Newsday that the Jets didn't put his client in a situation to succeed, nor did they give Hill enough time to prove himself.

"I just don't think they gave him the opportunity he deserves," said Herman, a resident of Jericho. "I don't think he got what he deserved from the New York Jets."

"The bottom line is you had the Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow disaster his first year, so how do you develop? He excelled in his first game, but it was rare he saw the ball like that after it -- four or five passes a game."

Herman also said Hill received limited opportunities during the preseason with Geno Smith at quarterback. "Two targets is not enough to make a decision on a talented player with exceptional speed to discard him after two seasons," Herman said. "I thought he deserved another year. Instead, they gave the opportunity to players who have been on other teams and who have been released multiple times."

Herman believes the receiver-needy Browns, who are coached by former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, will show interest in signing Hill or putting in a waiver claim.

The Jets -- who chose to keep seven receivers -- also cut Clyde Gates, who led the team with two TD catches in the preseason, including a 42-yarder against the Eagles on Thursday. The team also parted ways with five defensive backs, including safety Rontez Miles, a top candidate for the practice squad.

The Patterson release also wasn't a shock. He essentially called general manager John Idzik a liar after the team suspended him for the remainder of the preseason after his 48-hour unexcused absence. According to the Jets, Patterson failed to show up for their third preseason game against the Giants and did not have any communication with the team for two days. But in recent interviews with ESPN, Patterson called the idea that he went AWOL "comical" and "completely false."

The Jets -- who retained 10 of this year's 12 draft picks -- also put outside linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee) on the physically unable to perform list to start the season.

Also released: Will Campbell, Troy Davis, draft pick Brandon Dixon, A.J. Edds, Tevita Finau, Alex Green, Kerry Hyder, Chris Pantale, Johnny Patrick, Brent Qvale, Jeremy Reeves, Daryl Richardson, Caleb Schlauderaff and Zach Thompson.

Waived players can be added to the 10-man practice squad on Sunday if they clear waivers.

With Bob Glauber

New York Sports