Monday, October 1, 2012
Analysis of Berry signing: Low risk
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Desperate for cornerback help in the wake of Darrelle Revis' knee injury, the Jets agreed to terms Monday with former Lions CB Aaron Berry.
The Jets, no doubt, will get ripped for this move because of Berry's off-the-field issues. Cue the circus music, right?
He was released July 23 by the Lions after getting arrested twice in the span of a month. He was accused of pointing a gun at three people in a Harrisburg, Pa., parking lot and he was arrested for DUI. At the time, he announced he was entering a substance-abuse program. He served a three-game league suspension for violating the personal-conduct policy, becoming eligible last week.
The Jets pounced on him, bringing him in for a visit last Friday. The Dolphins also worked him out.
Presumably, his new two-year deal includes minimum salaries, meaning it's a low-risk investment for the Jets. If he screws up again, he's a goner. The team is in such a dire situation that something had to be done. Evidently, Joe McKnight didn't wow anybody Sunday in his limited role at cornerback. The Jets are taking a public-relations risk, considering the perception of the team, but it's not a terrible football move.
"He's got contributing ability," an opposing personnel executive said Monday morning. "I don't see him as a starter, but he can play in the sub (packages)."
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Pitt, Berry, 24, played in 12 games over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, starting four. He has one interceptions. He was slated to start again for the Lions, but he got into trouble and was dumped for "personal conduct which adversely affects this club," the Lions said in a statement. Some believe Berry may have been a scapegoat because the Lions faced public pressure after a string of off-the-field transgressions involving players.
At the time of his release, Berry released this statement:
"Words cannot describe how embarrassed I am right now. I've let my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire Detroit Lions organization, including the fans, down and I'm so sorry. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I know I will continue to get better and grow from this unfortunate experience, I have no choice but to get better. There are always two sides to every story and the legal process will be where I will tell my side regarding this recent incident.
"I love the game of football and still feel I have a bright future ahead of me. I worked my butt off this off-season and I hope to be able to help some team in the NFL win games as I continue to grow as a father, friend, teammate and into the man I want to be."