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Thursday, April 3, 2014

New York Jets sign Dimitri Patterson despite injury-plagued career


By on 4/03/2014 11:45:00 AM

The New York Jets are on a roll in free agency this year, signing an array of players to their squad. Most notable are quarterback Michael Vick, receivers Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford, with much focus on boosting their offense and improving from an 8-8 record in 2013. 

Turning to their defensive needs, NBC Sports reports that the Jets have just added cornerback Dimitri Patterson from the Miami Dolphins. An eight-year veteran, Patterson has battled a myriad of injuries throughout his professional career, only registering one full season in 2010.

Patterson has played on a total of five NFL teams since 2005, with the Jets becoming the sixth franchise to take a gamble on the oft-injured cornerback.  Patterson began his football career in 2001 as a true freshman at Southeast Missouri State University, where he earned second-team All-OVC (Ohio Valley Conference) honors as a sophomore and went on to win a myriad of awards during his three-year stint as a cornerback and kick returner.  In 2004, Patterson transferred to Tuskegee University.

Patterson was an undrafted free agent in 2005 and ended up signing with the Washington Redskins. He joined their practice squad and was eventually promoted to the active roster that October. He was cut two days later. 

Not to be deterred, Patterson kept working out and between 2006-2013 he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and now the New York Jets.


Throughout Patterson's eight-year stint in the league, he has been plagued with multiple injuries.  Out of a possible 128 games, he played in 79, posting a career 176 combined tackles, one forced fumble, nine interceptions and two sacks.  Patterson has had injuries with his ankle, hamstring, quads, hand, back, knee and groin.

The latest injury came last year while he was playing for Miami where he battled an injured groin, rendering him to only play in six games.  In the week 14 game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Patterson suffered a setback and was placed on the injured reserve list, ending his 2013 season.  He finished 2013 with 19 tackles, four interceptions, a sack and six passes defended in six games.

Many critics question the Jets motive for signing 30 year-old Patterson to a one-year, $3 million contract.  With the loss of cornerback Antonio Cromartie, Patterson could be in the hunt for significant playing time opposite second-year corner Dee Milliner.

Jack Newton via Wikimedia Commons
 
Patterson is the third outside cornerback the Jets have added this offseason. They previously signed former Chargers cornerback Johnny Patrick off the waiver wire early last month, and also signed Jeremy Reeves, an undrafted free agent who did not play in the NFL last season, last week.

There is also the possibility of the Jets drafting a cornerback this May, as 15 corners are rated in the top 100, according to Scouts, Inc.  Despite what their intentions are with Patterson, the Jets obviously see his talent and perseverance and are confident with his ability.  In the one full season he played while in Philadelphia, Patterson had 52 tackles, one sack and four interceptions, including a pick-six. 

Patterson shows nice instincts and ball skills, and if he can stay healthy, the Jets have just snagged a great addition to their secondary.

On Twitter:  @alewnes7


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