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Kyle Wilson will likely be the starting nickel cornerback this season (Cosentino, July 12).

Wilson has been mentioned as a possible release candidate, but enters training camp as the favorite to return in the slot.

The Newark Star-Ledger projects Dimitri Patterson to start opposite Dee Milliner, with rookie Dexter McDougle, Darrin Walls, and Ras-I Dowling competing for roles in sub packages.

It would be an understatement to say that Wilson is unpopular among most Jets fans.  While some frustration is understandable for the former first rounder, Wilson proved himself in 2013, ranking at as the best slot corner in the league according to ProFootballFocus.

There was talk about Wilson as a potential release candidate, but that overlooks three important factors.  The first is the emphasis of counteracting spread formations in the modern NFL through use of the nickel.  The nickel corner is the defense's version of the sixth man ... they are in all intents a starter.

The second is the transition that the team is making in the secondary.  Having moved away from both Cromartie and Revis in the last two years is a major upheaval for the group and any cheap veterans who are experienced with how the secondary runs are worth their weight in gold.

The third is the importance of NFL teams milking post-lockout rookie contracts for all they can.  There's no good reason to cut Wilson, so let him play out his rookie deal and see what happens next.

Tags: brianbassett, avsny, NYJets , Andrew Vazzano
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