|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
The New York Jets released suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson on Saturday, ending a strange, tumultuous and brief chapter -- two days after he basically accused the team of spreading lies about his absence last week.
Patterson sealed his fate Thursday by releasing a statement in which he claimed the team's allegations he was AWOL for 48 hours last weekend were "completely false."
Two days earlier, Patterson was suspended through Sept. 1 by the team, which also slapped him with undisclosed additional discipline -- presumably a fine. The statement, however, further irked members of the organization.
|The Jets released suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson on Saturday, after signing him to a one-year, $3 million contract in March.|
Neither Rex Ryan nor general manager John Idzik were made available to comment on Patterson's release.
In March, the Jets signed Patterson to a one-year, $3 million contract, including a $1 million signing bonus. They expected him to replace Antonio Cromartie in the starting lineup. Patterson, 31, got off to a slow start in training camp, missed significant time with multiple leg injuries and didn't show up for the Aug. 22 home game against the New York Giants.
That set off a bizarre series of events.
The Jets called it an "unexcused" absence, saying they needed almost a full day before confirming Patterson was safe and unharmed. Ryan and Idzik met with him last Sunday, but they withheld punishment until the following day, handing down an indefinite suspension.
After further investigation, the Jets suspended Patterson for the final preseason game, saying he was eligible to return Sept. 1.
Then Patterson dropped his bombshell, disputing the Jets' version.
"My agent reached out to the Jets organization multiple times several hours prior to Friday night's game," his statement said. "My commitment to the Jets organization and to my teammates has never been an issue and never will be an issue.
"As it relates to the rumors about my frustration in regards to the depth chart, [that] is totally and completely false. In nine years I have never had control over the depth chart."
Publicly, Patterson never gave a reason why he missed the game and a subsequent practice. His behavior angered teammates, some of whom said they wanted an apology and/or legitimate explanation from Patterson before welcoming him back.
Meanwhile, the Jets' cornerback position remains in shambles. With Dee Milliner still recovering from a high ankle sprain, the likely opening day starters are Darrin Walls and converted safety Antonio Allen, with Kyle Wilson in the slot.
Their backups are Ellis Lankster and journeyman LeQuan Lewis. The Jets are searching the waiver wire for corners, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they add one over the next 48 hours.