Florham Park, N.J. - Batman and Robin was broken up once in 2013 when Darrelle Revis was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were split up again this past offseason when Antonio Cromartie was released after one year with the team upon re-signing. This brought up questions on who will play opposite of Revis and how the rest of the corners will fit in. With the depth that the New York Jets have at cornerback, that may not be a problem.
No explanation on Revis is needed, as he is still one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He had five interceptions last year, his most since 2009. NFL Network recently ranked him #24 on the Top 100 NFL Players of 2016. Revis will continue to do what he does best in anchoring down the secondary.
Someone on the roster who will most likely be replacing Cromartie on the defense is Marcus Williams. He came to prominence in the secondary once he was promoted from the practice squad in 2014. A diamond in the rough, his best year was in 2015 when he had six interceptions, leading the team. Not only that, Williams came up big in clutch situations, having three game-clinching interceptions. Look to Williams to slide into the No. 2 role.
One corner that was brought in last year to play the nickel was Buster Skrine. Last year he played well, having 46 tackles, seven passes defended, and one interception. Skrine will retain a similar role this year in taking on the slot receiver.
Two young players that are looking to shake off the rocky starts of their young careers are Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle. Milliner was selected 9th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Jets. The following year, Gang Green took McDougle with the 80th pick. Combined, both have played a total of 35 games.
Milliner showed he could be the future at corner for the New York Jets in his rookie year, playing in 13 games with 56 tackles, 17 passes defended, and three interceptions. However, he suffered an ankle sprain during training camp in 2014, which kept him out until September 14 against the Green Bay Packers. In week 6 against the Denver Broncos, Milliner tore his Achilles tendon, ending his season. It didn't stop there, as in August of 2015, Milliner underwent wrist surgery that required 6-8 weeks of recovery. He wasn't activated off the IR until November 11.
McDougle suffered a fair share of injuries throughout his young career. In training camp during his rookie year, McDougle tore his ACL, ending his season right there. In 2015, he made a comeback, but didn't contribute much. McDougle played in 14 games, only having six tackles to go along with one pass defended. Both Milliner and McDougle look to make larger impacts come the 2016 season.
Looking down the rest of the depth chart, the Jets have a veteran in Darryl Morris who can come up big if need be, and a few young players such as Kevin Short, Juston Burris, and Bryson Keeton. All three are fighting to make a name for themselves.
Morris has been in the league since 2013, signing with the San Francisco 49ers as undrafted free agent. He has played with the 49ers, the Houston Texans, and is now with the Jets. In his careers, Morris has 44 tackles, seven passes defended, and one interception.
Short is an interesting story. He transferred from Fort Scott Community College to the University of Kansas to play football, but withdrew before ever stepping on to the field. As an undrafted free agent in 2015, Short signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was cut later in the year, but signed with the Seattle Seahawks. After two months there, Short was cut again, only to be picked up by New York. He has spent his time with each team on the practice squad.
Burris was New York's 4th round pick in this years NFL Draft. Coming out of NC State, Burris recorded 163 tackles in his career, along with six interceptions and 31 passes defended. What's good about Burris is that he played in the slot early on his career, making him versatile.
Last, but certainly not least, is Keeton. He was a tryout player during the Jets' rookie minicamp and comes into the NFL from Montana State. In two years there, he had 21 passes defended while also recording two interceptions.
For the first time in a while, the New York Jets have depth at a spot that they didn't have in the past. Now that they have the depth, New York is able to throw out different corners in different packages and against different receivers. This also helps take the workload off the starters. Plus, they don't need to worry on the run side of things, as New York boasts one of the best defensive fronts in the league.