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.