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Six days before the season opener, the cornerback-needy New York Jets continued to tinker with their secondary, signing free-agent journeyman Phillip Adams.
Adams was released Saturday by the Seattle Seahawks, two days after surrendering two touchdown passes against the Oakland Raiders.
Who do the Jets face in the opener? The Raiders, one of Adams' former teams.
The Jets' situation is so dire that it's difficult to say who will start at cornerback. Dee Milliner is three weeks removed from a high-ankle sprain and unlikely to play. The other projected starter was Dimitri Patterson, but he was released Saturday while serving a one-week suspension for an unexcused absence.
Chances are, it'll be career backup Darrin Walls and converted safety Antonio Allen as the starting tandem -- assuming Allen is cleared after suffering a concussion in the third preseason game. He returned to practice last Friday on a limited basis, wearing the red (no contact) jersey. Rex Ryan said he was "very encouraged" by Allen's progress.
Cornerback was once regarded as the strength of the defense, back when it was Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Now they're relying on the waiver wire to fill spots.
On Sunday, they claimed former Cleveland Browns third-round pick Leon McFadden, who recorded a league-high eight penalties in the preseason.
The ever-optimistic Ryan insisted he feels comfortable with his current crop of corners.
"Oh, no question about it," he told reporters late Monday. "I understand where everybody is coming from because we have some injury questions ... but I think when this season is kicked off for real, we have no excuses. We'll line up and play. We feel good about the players we do have. Shoot, the great thing is, we get to prove it."
Adams, 26, was signed by the Seahawks in March, but he failed to crack their talented group of corners. He has bounced around the league, having played for the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Raiders. He played briefly for the Seahawks at the end of the 2011 season, when Jets general manager John Idzik was a Seahawks executive.
Adams has appeared in 66 games (four starts), recording three interceptions and eight pass break-ups.
The Jets had an experienced corner in Patterson, whom they signed to a one-year, $3 million contract, but things fell apart when he failed to show up for the third preseason game. The Jets called it an "unexcused absence," and Patterson fired back in a statement to ESPN, saying the team's version of the events was "completely false."
Idzik, commenting for the first time on Patterson's release, insisted the inflammatory statement had nothing to do with the decision.
"I don't put too much weight on statements," Idzik said. "I'd rather hear the statement directly from the player."
In fact, Idzik met with Patterson before the statement was released, but he refused to divulge what was said. The Jets appeared willing to give him a second chance, suspending him for a week rather than cutting him. He was eligible to return Monday, but he didn't last that long on the roster.
"Suffice it to say, he had an open forum here to spill everything out, and we told him our views as well," Idzik said. "In the end, it just felt appropriate that we move on from Dimitri and that was the best thing for the Jets."
In other roster moves, the Jets claimed former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Walter Powell on waivers and released rookie linebacker Jeremiah George, a fifth-round pick. To make room for Adams, they released rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, a sixth-round choice.
Late Monday, the Jets made another move at cornerback, releasing backup Ellis Lankster, a core special teams player. They re-signed A.J. Edds, whom they waived Saturday, to provide depth at inside linebacker.