New York Jets sign J.J. Wilcox after losing Rontez Miles

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: J.J. Wilcox (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: J.J. Wilcox (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) /

Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety J.J.  Wilcox signs with the New York Jets after they lose Rontez  Miles due to surgery.

The New York Jets are short a safety after Rontez Miles had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the news.

Miles is expected to be out for three to four months. The Jets signed former Pittsburgh Steelers safety J.J. Wilcox to fill Miles spot. They waived linebacker Freddie Bishop to make room on the roster.

Wilcox was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2013 and played for the Cowboys for four seasons. Last year he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent but was traded to the Steelers before the start of the season.He was on the verge of signing with the San Francisco 49ers, but decided to sign with the Jets instead, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. With the Cowboys Wilcox was a backup. It appeared that he was going to be a starter when he joined the Buccaneers but they sent him to the Steelers instead. He didn’t get as much playing time with the Steelers as he probably should have and the Steelers safeties weren’t good as a result. He has 208 tackles, six interceptions, 16 defended passes, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his career.

Wilcox is a good safety and could be used in a three-safety alignment. Jets head coach Todd Bowles has used a three-safety alignment and he might use it again now that  Wilcox is there and wanted to play for Bowles. He  should fit in well with the Jets defense.

Bishop had 31 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a defended pass in nine games with the Jets. Miles had eight tackles last season and led Gang Green in special-teams tackles.

Miles being out hurts the Jets depth at the safety position. Rontez was the Jets fourth safety behind Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, and Terrence Brooks. While Rapoport was told that Miles could possibly be put on injured reserve, the Jets will likely put him on the physically unable to perform list, according to Darryl Slater of

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Going on the PUP list would meant the Miles would miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Losing Miles isn’t just a big blow to the defense, it hurts the special teams as well. Rontez is one of the Jets best players on special teams.

The Jets defense should be fine without Miles because Wilcox is a good choice for a fill in. However the Jets special teams won’t be as good until Miles returns.