NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Aaron Berry wasn’t sure when, where of even if he’d play professional football again.
Arrested twice in a one-month span this summer and consequently cut by the Detroit Lions, the cornerback received his second chance in the form of a two-year contract with the injury-riddled Jets.
“It’s a blessing,” Berry said Wednesday. “They gave me a second opportunity a lot of people don’t get. I’m going to take full advantage of it to do what I can to help this team win some games.”
He served a three-game suspension from the league for a DUI bust and allegations that he pointed a gun at a small group of people in Harrisburg, Pa. He’ll help fill New York’s huge hole at cornerback, left when Darrelle Revis went down with a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3.
The 24-year-old started three games for the Lions last season. He was one of Detroit’s presumptive starters before his release.
According to Berry, head coach Rex Ryan told him “he’s a guy that gives people second chances.”
“He just wants me to come in here and respect everybody in the locker room and just be disciplined,” said Berry. “If they take me in, then I won’t make the same mistake as I did before.”
Revis, the cornerback’s mentor in college, had more pointed advice.
“He told me just take this second opportunity and take it and run with it,” said Berry. “Because you’re not going to get a third.”
Will Berry be a playmaker for Rex’s defense? Be heard in the comments below…