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Who Will Comprise the New York Jets Secondary?

Rich Schultz

Last year, the New York Jets carried eleven defensive backs. At the end of the season, they included Antonio Cromartie (CB), Dee Milliner (CB), Kyle Wilson (CB), Darrin Walls (CB), Ellis Lankster (CB), Isaiah Trufant (CB), Dawan Landry (SS), Antonio Allen (SS), Ed Reed (FS), Josh Bush (FS), Jaiquawn Jarrett (FS). That means six cornerbacks, two strong safeties, and three free safeties. It's well known that Rex Ryan loves his cornerbacks, and the team certainly carries plenty of them.

Here are the current players on the roster, according to the team website:

Cornerback Strong Safety Free Safety
Dee Milliner Calvin Pryor Josh Bush
Dimitri Patterson Dawan Landry Jaiquawn Jarrett
Kyle Wilson Antonio Allen Rontez Miles
Dexter McDougle Brandon Hardin
Ras-I Dowling
Darrin Walls
Ellis Lankster
Brandon Dixon
Johnny Patrick
Jeremy Reeves
Lowell Rose

If we assume the team will keep eleven players on the roster again, we can start to narrow down who will make it and who won't. To bring us down to six cornerbacks, we need to cut five. The four easiest to get rid of are Dixon, Patrick, Reeves, and Rose. This is a guess, but I would imagine they'd bring Dixon and Patrick back on the practice squad. As for the last remaining cut, I'd wager it comes down to health. If Patterson or Dowling get injured during training camp, as they have been injury prone in the past, it's likely that one of them doesn't make the opening day roster. For argument's sake, let's assume it's Dowling. That leaves us with Milliner, Patterson, Wilson, McDougle, Walls, and Lankster.

Among the strong safeties, Allen might seem to be the odd man out. I would personally keep him over Landry, but Ryan seems to love Landry and trusts him more than he does Allen, for whatever reason. As I'll explain below though, Allen is a more likely candidate to make the roster than an extra free safety. That leaves us with PryorLandry, and Allen.

The battle for a third free safety is underwhelming. Miles was an undrafted free agent that hasn't show much to deserve a spot, and Hardin is a former draft pick by the Chicago Bears that has also been underwhelming. As a result, I think it's more likely that the team keeps the more proven Allen over these two backups. That leaves us with Bush and Jarrett. In the end, the starting safeties will likely all come from the strong safety category.

What do you think? What members of the secondary do you think will remain going into the regular season?