If you mention Antonio Allen to most Jets fans, the opinion of his ability is usually overwhelmingly negative. Which is justified if you look at his performances through 2014. While he's certainly not a starter in this league, he does have some value, if played in the correct position.
Last season Allen played more snaps at cornerback (370), a position he'd never played than at safety (125) a position he was drafted for. In college he played a hybrid linebacker/safety role, but adapting to a brand new position at the NFL level isn't easy, and Antonio's performances proved that last season.
Heading into 2015 with a new coach at the helm, Antonio will exclusively work at safety and so far Bowles has been impressed with what he's seen:
"He's playing safety for us this year,"
"He's athletic," Bowles said. "In shorts and a T-shirt, he runs around well. He has a passion for the game and he's a very brash guy, which is a good thing in football. You need some swagger. We'll see if that carries over to the summer."
I've always had time for Allen, a player I really liked coming out of South Carolina and he's been with us for 3 years and played in 38 games, so that's pretty good value from a 7th round selection. He's been good at times, but he's been bad far more frequently and the truth is he was almost as bad at safety last year as he was at corner. Was that down to being moved around too much by the Rex Ryan coaching staff, or is that just his talent level. We'll find out this year, but I have to imagine his roster spot will come under serious threat this summer.