The New York Jets signed veteran cornerback Dmitri Patterson in 2014, seemingly hoping he’d become the team’s next lockdown defender.
No one expected Patterson to be Darrelle Revis, the Jets’ former All-Pro cornerback who was about to win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
But, the New York Jets expected Patterson to be a solid, borderline elite starter. As what usually happens with the Jets, they weren’t just wrong, but embarrassingly incorrect.
Dimitri Patterson was a solid cornerback
A stellar cornerback at Southeast Missouri State, an FCS program, Dimitri Patterson went undrafted in 2005.
Patterson split his rookie season on the Washington Redskins’ active roster and practice squad. Notably, Patterson intercepted Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe in the former’s NFL debut.
Patterson spent a couple years as a backup cornerback and special teams ace on the Kansas City Chiefs. After spending most of 2009 on the Eagles’ special teams unit, Patterson got his defensive break in 2010.
Patterson started nine games for the Eagles and snagged four interceptions, returning one of those picks off ex-teammate Donovan McNabb for a 40-yard touchdown.
Patterson spent 2011 and part of 2012 with the Cleveland Browns. In six games and four starts for the Miami Dolphins in 2013, Patterson snagged four interceptions and broke up six passes before a groin injury ended his season.
Patterson reportedly went missing in 2014
The New York Jets signed Dimitri Patterson to a one-year contract worth $3 million in April 2014.
New York had just cut Antonio Cromartie and missed out on several top cornerbacks in free agency. The best-case scenario was Patterson would have an excellent year for a Jets team coming off an 8-8 season.
The Jets could not have prepared for what the worst actually became. Midway through the preseason, Patterson skipped an exhibition against the crosstown Giants and allegedly went missing.
The Jets suspended Patterson for the rest of the preseason. Patterson denied going missing, although the Jets retorted they never heard back from the veteran cornerback when they tried contacting him multiple times.
The Jets cut their losses that summer and released Patterson before the season opened.
Dimitri Patterson going AWOL became a joke afterward
Right now, the New York Jets are one of sport’s greatest laughing stocks and the epitome of a franchise where nothing ever works as intended.
That reputation wasn’t quite true in 2014. If anything, the Jets were semi-lovable losers with a charming head coach in Rex Ryan and a franchise that regularly got the best out of players who arrived in New York with low expectations.
Two years after Mark Sanchez and the ‘Butt Fumble,’ Patterson’s brief disappearance began a 4-12 season, which cost Ryan his job.
When Knicks point guard Derrick Rose went AWOL during the 2016-17 season, media members invoked Patterson’s name.
Patterson, by the way, never played in the NFL again after he allegedly went missing. The Jets reunited with Darrelle Revis in 2015 and he spent two more seasons in green and white.