New York Jets: Hill, Patterson Waste Golden Opportunities


Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have trimmed their roster down to 53 and made the conscious decision to leave off a couple of underachievers.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson and wide receiver Stephen Hill have been cut and released, ending two sagas that played out during training camp. There were receiving jobs to be had and Hill was once again a no-show. With well-documented cornerback injury issues, the Jets were dying for one and Patterson was actually in a starting role. He managed to force himself out of that role and ultimately off the roster entirely.

Hill, a third-year receiver out of Georgia Tech, had a few single games as a Jet in which he stood out. The 2012 season opener saw Hill catch two touchdowns from Mark Sanchez to help beat the Bills but the 6’ 4” only caught two more in the 31 games since.

It’s not like the Jets have had a murder’s row receiving corps; it has left much to be desired. He’s a size and speed receiver that fits perfectly with what gang green has needed these last few seasons but struggles holding onto the football. Hill just wasn’t able to deliver anything resembling a consistent performance and he couldn’t make himself stand out in any one category. Especially considering the Jets’ need for a larger outside target, that says a lot about Hill’s lack of progress.

Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim earned roster spots over Hill and it wasn’t even close. Both were able excel in some way on offense when given just a few snaps—Hill got more reps than any WR in camp and couldn’t do anything with them. The ultimate caveat is that Hill doesn’t play special teams at all. Salas and Hakim both play special teams and are valuable in doing so (especially Hakim). They end up just adding more versatility to the Jets’ roster

It’s frustrating for New York, who traded up to draft Hill 43rd overall in the 2012 draft. He’s a complete bust and was outperformed by two players that cannot match him in a combination of natural size and speed but surge past him in all ways when it comes to being an actual football player.

It’ll take quite the ghastly effort for whoever it is gets a shot to play outside receiver for the Jets to contribute less than Stephen Hill did and waste the chance he did as well. It’s sad but true and despite his fitting the Jets’ needs…How many chances do you get? Idzik and Ryan rightfully said enough is enough.

Luckily for all of us, Dimitri Patterson’s short but turbulent stay in New York is also over.

The Jets gave Patterson a $1 million signing bonus to basically take Antonio Cromartie’s role and failed miserably. The guy couldn’t even make it to Week 1 as a member of the team.

Patterson did a ton of talking about how his film spoke for itself and we would all see who he really was but he was able to back up none if it. He was right about one thing—we did indeed see who he really is. The oft-injured journeyman was unable to stay on the field for most of training camp and when he did get in some preseason action, he got torched early and often. It was a non-stop back and forth from the trainer’s room to the sideline for Patterson.

Worst of all, Patterson squandered an enormous opportunity to start for Rex Ryan…twice. He mysteriously went AWOL (Absence Without Official Leave) for a 48-hour span and the Jets, desperate at cornerback, were still going to let Patterson play after serving an obligatory week-long suspension.

The icing on the cake was Patterson hilariously calling the Jets out for their ‘comical’ words, claimed he never went AWOL and his agent had reached out to the team. As if the Jets wanted to admit to the media they couldn’t get a hold of one of their players on a game day and the ensuing practice day. Really Dimitri? Somebody please explain to this man what an acronym is and what this one in particular means. He went the exact definition of AWOL and was able to keep a straight face while denying it.

The Jets will ultimately be better off without both of these guys who weren’t producing anyway. Gang green has added veteran cornerbacks Philip Adams and Leon McFadden in the days since making their cuts. Neither is the savior and one would imagine they’re unlikely to contribute in any significant way. Can’t be sure whether either will make an appearance in Week 1 although anything is possible—we know the depth chart isn’t too deep in that spot. Hey, they’re healthy bodies not accusing the organization of being liars, which is good.

Less than a week until kickoff now and we’ll keep an eye on if Hill or Patterson is picked up off of the scrap heap. For the most part, everyone in the Jets’ front office can just be glad to have gotten rid of two headaches.

There were spots to be had and ample opportunities for both to make the most of their talents. Neither Hill nor Patterson helped themselves in any way and ultimately didn’t help the Jets either.