Writing on the Wall for Wilson?

Dan Marcus wonders if the writing is on the wall for Kyle Wilson in New York

When the New York Jets drafted Kyle Wilson with their first overall pick in the 2010 draft the expectation was that he would become an eventual starter opposite Darrelle Revis. If nothing else, Wilson was expected to make some type of meaningful contribution on special teams as a punt returner.

Arguably the most frustrating player to watch in recent memory (at least for me) may have finally run out of good will with the Jets brass . The fact of the matter is that Wilson hasn’t shown the ability to play outside and even in his role in the nickel has failed to develop consistent instincts, especially ball awareness as I can’t even describe to you how many times I have seen him face-guarding his receiver, with no clue to the ball’s location.

The addition of Dimitri Patterson created some initial rumblings about Wilson’s future with the team as Patterson spent time in the slot. Prior to the draft it occurred to me that the Jets could be moving Wilson to safety, which has the potential significantly reduce the amount of times he needs to turn his head to look for the ball. In fact, it was his cameo on Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp as the “designated Safety” that led me to believe that this was the plan but after spending their first round pick on Calvin Pryor and subsequent picks on cornerbacks, Dexter McDougle and Brandon Dixon, the numbers game may not be in Wilson’s favor.

Looking at it from a financial standpoint, Wilson is owed almost $2.4 Million this season but if cut the Jets could free up almost $1.3 Million which makes him expendable. His only saving grace could be the lack of experience in the secondary with Dee Milliner and a host of other question marks slated to fill out the depth chart in that unit.

Patterson has a bit of an injury history so keeping Wilson around for depth makes sense but not at his current salary. It definitely bears watching as to how the Jets secondary shapes up because we know that this unit will have a different look and identity this season but if I were a betting man, it would take a “Josh McCown-esque” reinvention for Wilson to be on the opening day roster. If he is gone, it would close the book on what turned out to be an abysmal 2010 draft that has already seen three departures and busts in the form of Joe McKnight who is out of the league, Vlad Ducasse, and John Conner who continue to bounce around. Barring anything unforeseen look for #20 to be up for grabs at some point this summer but knowing him he won’t see it coming.

  • John Hunter

    Yup, the gig could be up for Kyle, and I wouldn’t mind not one bit. His inability to locate the ball causes him to get burned, and commit idiotic penalties. He’s not the returner he was in college, and his ego is bigger than his game. I love the McDougle pick, which could be the nail in Kyle’s coffin.

  • KAsh

    I would take that bet. Never turn down free money.

    This is a team that kept Vlad Ducasse on the roster until his contract was up. Let that sink in.

    Ducasse was not plain useless. He was a black hole that sucked up all the surrounding usefulness. The o-line at guard and tackle was stacked with Peterman, Winters, Ijalana, Aboushi, and Campbell all competing with Ducasse. Even though Winters was injured in training camp and Campbell was transitioning from DT to OG, that is still three people that could have done Ducasse’s job. Instead, we cut the veteran Peterman (who made mistakes, but could not have been as bad as Ducasse) and kept the rest on the roster behind Ducasse. We let Ducasse prove to us once again that he was going to let 300-lbs. linemen mangle our QB on a regular basis. After he showed to be incapable of stopping players that could navigate a sidestep, we still brought Ducasse in to be a blocking TE on short-yardage run plays. There is no way in hell that a combination of Peterman and one of the four other backups could not do everything Ducasse did for us last year.

    Wilson is the current starting nickel corner. Until Milliner woke up in December, Wilson was our best and most consistent corner game-to-game in 2013. Rex likes to keep many corners around. The roster has only Patterson and McDougle to compete to play nickel. Patterson is the current presumptive starter on the outside across from Milliner. The team wants to see McDougle develop into a regular starter on the outside. There is also Lankster and Reeves, but they are the special team aces first.

    Is there a chance Wilson is out? Things could happen. But I would not start planning on how to spend my winnings if I were betting against him.

  • Joe Caporoso

    If I was betting today, I’d say Wilson is likely kept. I think he is a competent nickel corner and unless McDougle, Walls and Patterson all have big camps and are healthy, I don’t think it would be considered.

  • The Dude Abides

    No more Wilson? Id love it but again doubt it will happen. Rex does stand by his players, and this one godawful as he may be happens to play a position that is thin atm. I figure this will be his last year and hopefully they will phase him out? yeah 2010 was not a good draft. Another one bites the dust. I was so happy McFumble (McKnight) was gone, only two more to go..

  • JetOrange

    One of the reasons that it was imperative for the Jets to draft a cornerback in the third round was to minimize the contract leverage that Kyle would have at the end of the season. Kyle will be a Jet this year, unless some team desperate for a CB due to injury, offers the Jets a 5th round pick for a one year rental. Cornerbacks, even nickel CB’s are expensive, and someone will overpay next year in free agency. Unless Kyle is willing to take Idzik’s price, he will be moving on in 2015. From a Jets perspective, Kyle is a good player with limited upside, they will not overpay.

  • Nick Evans

    After Boldin/houshmandzadeh schooled him in his debut against the ravens I thought it would only be up from there and I was wrong.. Looking forward to seeing 20 off the roster whenever it happens as it would save me screaming “turn around!” and “find the football!” at least a few less times on Sundays.

  • Bacon

    Hey Joe, I generally agree with what you have to say about the Jets, but this is one where I can’t get on board. Since 2009, Rex has had 6 corners on the roster every year except for 2012. If you pencil in Milliner, Patterson, McDougle, Walls, and Lankster, you still have another roster spot. Five corners is a possibility, but if they go with six like they’ve done in the past, I think a Wilson absence would require a trade. Are we expecting Brandon Dixon or Ras-I Dowling to overtake Wilson? It’s possible, but I’m not convinced their play can outweigh Wilson’s experience. Besides, what are the Jets going to do with this $1.3 million in cap space they aren’t doing with the $23 million they already have?

    Keeping Wilson this final season on his contract gives the team a Jet veteran in a young position group’s meeting room, which may be invaluable as Milliner settles into a role as CB1. I can’t find the exact numbers, but Wilson ranked as one of the NFL’s top nickel corners in 2013 according to PFF. Also, didn’t he start outside for most of 2012? That was a season when the Jets were second in the league in opposing completion percentage (53.8%). Nobody is arguing that he has lived up to the value a first round pick is supposed to provide, but you don’t get the pick back by cutting him. Let him play out his contract while the young guys like McDougle and whoever makes the practice squad can learn from him so they can step up when Wilson becomes a free agent. Who knows, maybe Wilson can take advantage of the opportunity in front of him and thrive in a contract year.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Hey Bacon – I don’t necessarily disagree with you (I did not write this article on Wilson) – It is probably more likely he ends up on the team. The only way I could see him traded is if Patterson, Walls and McDougle all have very strong summers and one of the other lower players on the depth chart (Dowling, Patrick, Reeves, Dixon, Lankster) shows a ton of potential…then maybe a CB desperate team could sway the Jets with an offer.

    I’m a little wary of PFF’s numbers on Wilson. PFF is a great tool but certainly not a Bible on NFL players performance. I’d say Wilson is a competent nickel corner at best.

  • twoshady

    Hey Joe – Bacon’s mistake reminded me… i’ve also given you credit for articles you didnt write. the author of the article should be more apparent on the page IMO. i would put it before the introduction or below the title with a larger font. where it is now looks more like a credit for the photo.

  • MattZ

    If Wilson was a 4th or later round pick he wouuld be considered a great value and a competent corner. But you expect more out of a #1 pick. He knows the defense has proven to be durable and a hard working teammate and I don’t see him getting cut unless he is clearly beaten out by the others in camp.

  • JetOrange

    Think about the fact that Patterson demonstrated that his value is 3.1 million per year, the CB market determined that price. Is he that much better of a CB, than Kyle at 1.3, after bonus amortization ?

  • Dan in RI

    Wilson is durable, competent and experienced–something that every other CB on the team has yet to prove (including Milliner). We already know his ceiling is not very high, but I find it very unlikely that the Jets would cut the only experienced, durable CB they have. I have high hopes for Milliner, McDougle and Dixon, and I like the acquisition of Patterson. But none of them have proven that they can hang around for a full season, playing at a competent level. Hopefully they will all show great ability, and we will have solved our CB problem. But until we know that to be the case, I think it would be nuts to get rid of Wilson.

  • Lidman

    Marcus, just as I argued with a few people here with Harris, there is no way this team cuts a competent player, to save salary. This is a team that needs to SPEND money moving forward. While PFF may not be ‘The Bible’, folks can’t decide they like it when it helps their argument, and then be skeptical when they have a different opinion. Now, if a Ras-I-Dowling or Walls steps up, then could it happen? Sure. Anyone could be beaten out on a performance basis. When you start saying ‘not at that salary’, you lose me. He’s a F/A next year, and this team is likely to be 10+mm under the cap when the season starts.

  • Bacon

    Ah, just realized my mistake. My apologies, Daniel.

  • Jonathan Richter

    I think the reason they keep him around is because Idzik will want to get something for him. Either try to trade him for a pick this year, or let him leave in free agency and hope for a compensatory pick the following year.