It was only a matter of time. The Jets have inked their final holdout, CB Dexter McDougle (if you can even call him that, he never actually held out and had already participated in Jets activities) to a contract, per Eric Allen on newyorkjets.com.
Details aren't immediately available but we will update at the bottom of this page with the contract specifics as soon as they come down. Here's a breakdown of the likely parameters of his rookie contract as laid out by the most recent CBA agreement from overthecap.com, via Darryl Slater and The Star-Ledger:
According to overthecap.com's rookie wage scale estimate, his four-year contract should be worth a maximum value of $2,953,876, including a signing bonus of $598,876. His salary cap figures for 2014-17 should be: $569,719, $709,719, $799,719 and $874,719.
His agent is Josh Hare of Dimensional Sports Inc., which is based in New York. That company also represents Jets rookie quarterback Tajh Boyd, a sixth-round pick, and Bills second-year quarterback EJ Manuel.
Last week McDougle returned to practice for the first time since a shoulder injury ended his college career early in his final season. Dexter took a positive attitude and shined through in practice while asserting that his people and the team could work out all of the financials. Besides getting beat by Eric Decker on a reception in a previous practice, McDougle was the breakout star of OTAs. Today, Dexter notably received praise from Rich Cimini as well as other beat writers for continuing to demonstrate excellent potential. From ESPN:
4. Impressive corner: Rookie Dexter McDougle, who got a late start in the offseason program because of a shoulder surgery from a college injury, continued to make plays. Working with the second-team defense, the third-round pick made at least two pass breakups. He's aggressive at the line of scrimmage, not afraid to engage with a receiver. "I think you saw a little of why we're so excited about him," Ryan said. McDougle and Darrin Walls were the second-team cornerbacks, behind Dee Milliner and Patterson.
A 5 foot 10 inches and 196 pounds, many people thought the relatively small McDougle might be a reach in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft (80th overall) and might not live up to potential because of his size. While it is far too early to tell whether McDougle will pan out or not for the Jets, he is receiving widespread praise for his physical abilities and performance in practices.
If Dexter continues to thrive with the Jets, you may have heard the last of former first round draft pick CB Kyle Wilson, who has been quietly relegated to the nickel and hasn't been so much as mentioned by staff as a figure in these defensive back competitions. It's unlikely the Jets would cut or trade Wilson prior to the end of the season, given their continuing need at the position. However, if the performances of McDougle, Dimitri Patterson (who had a pick today), and Ras-I Dowling in practice translate at all into game time production for the Jets; there may not be as great a need at DB as was originally projected.
My personal assessment is that there is a very good chance that McDougle will play as Nickel or 3rd CB to start if he continues to look good in the offseason. Pads aren't on yet and McDougle has been playing the second team, so he is far from a lock to supplant Wilson. It appears as all but certain to me that Darrin Walls will lose his job to Patterson, who has a history of both breakout interceptions and missing a great number of games every season. It really seems like Kyle Wilson has become an afterthought of the Ryan/Thurman defense as he enters his final year under contract.
There still is plenty of offseason to go before a roster is set, but McDougle is shaping up to be a promising young player for the Jets.
What role do you think Dexter McDougle will have on the Jets defense, both this season and in the future?