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Trying to replenish their once-formidable cornerback position, the New York Jets signed former Miami Dolphins starter Dimitri Patterson on Tuesday.
Patterson signed a one-year, $3 million deal, according to league source. The team tweeted a picture of Patterson signing his contract:
We've signed CB Dimitri Patterson. #NFLFreeAgency pic.twitter.com/G9vCKNCZ6H- New York Jets (@nyjets) April 1, 2014
Patterson, who turns 31 on June 18, was released last month by the Dolphins to save $5.4 million against the salary cap. The well-traveled Patterson, with his seventh team since 2005, has 20 career starts, but he's best suited as a nickelback in the slot.
General manager John Idzik has come under fire for his handling of the cornerback position. The Jets cut Antonio Cromartie, made unsuccessful bids for free agents Vontae Davis and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and showed no interest in re-acquiring Darrelle Revis after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 2012, the Jets owned arguably the top cornerback tandem in the league, with Revis and Cromartie, but they traded Revis amid a contract dispute and released Cromartie after a poor season. They showed interest in re-signing Cromartie at a lower price, but he wound up signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
Cornerback play is vital in Rex Ryan's man-to-man scheme, and the Jets have no proven starters. Their top corner is former No. 1 pick Dee Milliner, coming off an inconsistent rookie year.
After him, it's Darrin Walls (four career starts) and nickelback Kyle Wilson (28 starts), a former No. 1 pick whose roster spot could be in jeopardy.
Patterson could compete for a starting job. He started four games last season, but ended up missing 10 games with a groin injury, eventually landing on injured reserve in December.
He played mostly on the outside for the Dolphins, but he has considerable experience in the slot. He finished with four interceptions last season, despite only 240 defensive snaps. He has nine career interceptions in 78 games.