Sometimes negotiating contracts with NFL rookies can be tense. Prolonged disagreement may lead to holdouts from training camp. Often the player eventually reports but is behind in their preparation. For one individual there was an added importance in joining his teammates.
The New York Jets selected former Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner ninth overall in 2013’s Draft. Milliner continues to rehab from offseason shoulder surgery which was his fifth overall operation during college. He recorded six interceptions during three years. Although this may not seem like a lot he closes in on the ball while defending passes. Milliner’s 136 tackles also demonstrate an ability to contribute through run support. Some feel that the rookie must replace departed All- Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, but this responsibility likely falls to Antonio Cromartie.
Milliner’s contract is four years for $ 12.66 million, and according to NFL.com New York prefers to have him start over incumbent number two corner Kyle Wilson. It was important for Milliner to be under contract for a couple of reasons. Reports also suggested that New York hoped he could get medical clearance to actively participate.
Obviously first-year players must learn schemes from their new teams. Concepts from head coach Rex Ryan’s defenses are known to be especially complex. Coming from previous coach Nick Saban’s tutelage should help with the process.
Undergoing a long contract dispute would have added to uncertainty. I expect him to fully compete when healthy. Wilson should have concern over losing his job either in training camp or some time this season.