Source: Jets retain CB Morris Claiborne, agree to 1-year, $7M deal

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Friday, March 16, 2018

The New York Jets retained one of their top free agents, agreeing to terms with cornerback Morris Claiborne on Thursday night, a source confirmed.

Claiborne, 28, will play on a one-year contract for the second straight year. This time, he'll receive $7 million, a source said -- a $2 million raise from last season.

The NFL Network first reported the agreement.

In a span of two days, the Jets solidified their cornerback positions. On Tuesday night, they agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Rams standout Trumaine Johnson on a five-year, $72.5 million deal.

Claiborne, 28, improved his free-agent value by showing he could make it through a season without missing significant time. He played in 15 games and participated in 82 percent of the defensive snaps last season for the Jets, with his only missed time resulting from a sprained foot.

Previously, Claiborne was a liability because of his long injury history. In five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, he missed a total of 33 games due to a variety of injuries. The former LSU star never lived up to his draft status (sixth overall in 2012) and the Cowboys let him walk as a free agent.

Looking for a starting corner to replace Darrelle Revis, the Jets took a chance, signing Claiborne to a one-year, $5 million contract. The coaches were satisfied with his performance even though he made only one interception. Often assigned to the opponent's top receiver, Claiborne held up reasonably well in coverage and finished with nine pass breakups. He said he felt more comfortable in the Jets' man-to-man scheme than in the Cowboys' zone-based system.

The biggest knock against Claiborne is that he commits too many penalties. He was flagged nine times, tied for the sixth among defensive backs.