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Dee Milliner turning to yoga to save Jets career

Jets cornerback Dee Milliner is hoping his final year on scholarship is the one that turns his career around -- and he's looking to yoga to ensure rapid progress.

With his rookie contract set to expire at year's end and no fifth-year option exercised, Milliner has played 21 games over three seasons to his credit. Just 14 of those were starts for a player selected at No. 9 overall in the 2013 draft as a replacement for then-recently traded Darrelle Revis.

"It's just something I said I'd try," Milliner said, via "They actually held it here (at the Jets' facility). I did it a couple times, but then I just started doing it to get my body right."

He added: "It's probably been one of the first times where I had a whole offseason where I can be with the team, and be able to work out and go through practice."

Milliner's case is sad, but so is the perception surrounding him. He's never been truly healthy in the NFL, with a broken wrist, torn Achilles tendon and ankle issue keeping him sidelined for the majority of his career. He was labeled a "bust" after his failure to live up to Rex Ryan's lofty expectations, but the real indictment came on the executive staff placed in charge of drafting him. Nearly all of former general manager John Idzik's regime has been cleared out.

Three quick thoughts on the matter:

  1. Milliner had five surgeries before he even reached the NFL, including a shoulder surgery that bled into his first training camp. Milliner had a right knee scope, sports hernia surgery, right tibia stress fracture surgery and another shoulder surgery before he even reached the nadir of his career, which tacked on a few more surgeries at the NFL level. How on Earth could a player be blamed for being "injury prone" at that point with all the medical information readily available to scouts during the combine?
  1. How bad would that draft have been for the Jets had they not scored the additional first-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Revis, netting them Sheldon Richardson at No. 13?
  1. We hope that yoga really does have some transformational ability for Milliner. It must be incredibly difficult to play an entire career on a series of faulty parts, with one injury leading to another, and one missed week of practice adding to the stress of being behind.

Without Antonio Cromartie in the fold, the Jets are looking for a second outside option to emerge, especially if they hope to keep Buster Skrine in the slot. Milliner is getting increased repetitions in minicamp with Revis nursing a broken wrist. Maybe that combination of health and instruction is all he ever needed.

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