It took the New York Jets a little longer to sign a cornerback than people expected. But good things come to those who wait.
Claiborne is a former top-10 pick and has shown flashes throughout his five years in the league. Although there’s a reason he’s only shown flashes.
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While he has a track record of game-changing plays, he also has a track record of injuries:
- Surgically repaired wrist
- Sprained knee
- Dislocated shoulder
- Hamstring issues
- Knee tendinitis and an AC joint separation
- Noncontact torn left patellar tendon
- Ankle issues
- Groin injury
Quite the laundry list. Combined, all of these injuries have contributed to Claiborne missing 33 out of 80 possible games.
OFFICIAL: We have signed CB Morris Claiborne.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 18, 2017
The contract details have also been released and it seems like the Jets hit a home run. The numbers are modest (one-year, $5 million) including game-by-game roster bonuses, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
There were reports that the Jets would be name-chasing ($10-14 million range) when free agency kicked off. Well, those rumors ended up being exactly what they were, rumors.
The Jets resisted the inner-childish urge to spend, spend and spend! Something they haven’t really done throughout their illustrious history.
Well, this week I spoke with an NFL scout (Connor Rogers via Bleacher Report) who heavily covered Claiborne coming out of the NFL Draft and gave a rave review.
“I’m a little bit biased because I loved him coming out. Claiborne is superb in man coverage and overall just has excellent coverage ability. While he had a slow start to his career with the Dallas Cowboys. That all changed, this past year before he got hurt he was one of the best corners in the league. Outside of quarterback, cornerback is the hardest position to play in the NFL, especially coming out as a rookie. Understanding route trees, coverage responsibilities, etc. While he has had the injuries, he proved last year he can be a top-10 corner in this league.” – Via ESPNCNY.com from the audio vault
This is a prove-it deal for Claiborne, but he’ll have the grand stage of New York to prove his worth. He’s a near lock to start at corner for the Jets in some capacity this year, health pending.
The Jets are hoping Connor Rogers is right and Claiborne can finally realize his full potential in the NFL.