In 2010, the New York Jets selected cornerback Kyle Wilson in the first round of the NFL Draft. The hope was that Wilson would further fortify a stacked group of corners alongside Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, along with provide some electricity in the return game. Unfortunately, Wilson is currently in his 4th season and the light hasn’t went on yet. He has provided nothing as a returner and is an average at best third corner. It might seem like an odd suggestion to some, especially with rookie Dee Milliner’s early struggles but the Jets should work to trade Wilson before this season’s trade deadline. Here’s why:
Wilson is likely a goner after this season. He is a leftover from the Mike Tannenbaum era and the selection of Milliner this year in the first round was a clear sign the team doesn’t view Wilson as a long term starter in New York. The Jets will have more cap savings than dead money if they cut him, and the depth at corner is sufficient to prevent hanging on to him and paying his over 2 million dollar base salary in 2014. Milliner is going to start day one opposite of Antonio Cromartie next season, even if he continues to struggle throughout his rookie year.
The Jets may be able to still get an asset in return for Wilson before he logs too many more ineffective snaps. He is a former first round pick with fairly extensive starting experience. A cornerback needy team with a coaching staff who thinks they could get more out of him could be willing to offer a conditional late round pick or maybe even the backup offensive tackle the Jets still desperately need.
Right now, the Jets are better off playing Darrin Walls on the outside while Milliner works out his issues. Walls outplayed Wilson in the pre-season and looked more competent in his targets against New England, by actually making a play on the football in the air without being called for a penalty, than Wilson has in recent action. As for the nickel role, Isaiah Trufant has shown a nose for making plays and is capable of handling the job if Milliner is going to be on the bench for a brief stretch of time.
The primary case for looking to move Wilson is that Milliner is going to eventually going to be the corner opposite of Cromartie, likely sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Wilson isn’t even the best candidate to replace him on the outside or in the slot, as Walls and Trufant both looked better all summer. Wilson is bringing nothing on special teams either. If Wilson isn’t going to be around in 2014 (a very likely scenario), try to move him now and get something useful in return, whether it is a late round pick or depth at a position of need.
Self-scouting your own players is a key aspect of building teams and hopefully John Idzik shows no hesitance to move on from ineffective players, regardless of where they were drafted. Considering he didn’t pick many of the Jets current players, I don’t expect him to be.