Reports over the weekend suggested that Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson went AWOL from the team for about 48 hours, resulting in an indefinite suspension after he resurfaced. Today, Patterson issued a statement, via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (TwitLonger link), in which he suggested that the idea he went missing for two days is “completely false.” Here are Patterson’s comments in full:
“As it relates to my whereabouts and me missing for 48 hours without being seen or heard from me or my representative is completely false. My agent reached out to the Jets organization multiple times several hours prior to Friday night’s game. My commitment to the Jets organization and to my teammates has never been an issue and never will be an issue. As it relates to the rumors about my frustration in regards to the depth chart is totally and completely false. In nine years I have never had control over the depth chart.”
Considering both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik said over the weekend that Patterson had gone AWOL, the cornerback’s statement is a little “stunning,” as Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com tweets, since it’s essentially calling out Ryan and Idzik. In the view of Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), the only sensible solution for the Jets is to cut Patterson.
The one-year deal Patterson signed with the Jets earlier this offseason included $1MM in bonus money, and the team is already thin at cornerback, so parting ways with him isn’t an ideal solution for New York. Still, it’s an unusual situation that took a stranger turn after Patterson’s public statement today, and it seems unlikely that the Jets would simply drop the issue (and the suspension). With 53-man rosters due two days from now, we’ll have to wait and see if Patterson hits the free agent market this weekend.