Perhaps a little defensive over his efforts this season, and a recent 4 year, $32 million deal, New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie proclaimed that he is still a top cornerback in the NFL.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, but I think overall [the season has gone] pretty well,” Cromartie said. “Some of the plays, if you look at it, there are some plays that didn’t go my way: fighting for a touchdown against Dallas, this past week for a touchdown.”
As comforting as it is to know that Cro still believes he is a top cornerback, his production this season has been spotty.
Drawing seven penalties (one declined) for 56 yards, profootballfocus.com lists only three cornerbacks in the NFL that have drawn more. Cromartie had four of those penalties against the Raiders in Week 3 of the season.
The website, which analyzes and grades players, has Cromartie ranked 37th out of the 45 cornerbacks who have played 75 percent of their team’s snaps.
Cromartie has also given up five touchdowns, tied for fourth most in the league.
Numbers don’t lie; and those numbers are terrible.
Always one to defend, Jets coach Rex Ryan said he’s fine with Cro’s play this season.
“I think Cro, at times, has played well,” Ryan said. “He had a tough break on the one Brad Smith caught. He had great coverage, tips the ball up and the kid stays with and makes the catch for a touchdown. The fumble I think was leading into that a little bit. … Overall, I’ve been pleased with the way Cro has played. Do I think he can play better? I absolutely do. I really do, but I feel that about a lot of guys.”
“If you have one mistake, things can look very bad,” Cromartie said. “We’re out there on that island all by ourselves. Half of the people don’t know what they’re talking about because they don’t know what kind of coverage we’re in or what kind of scheme we’re in.”
Of course playing opposite Darrelle Revis, the expectations are perhaps unfair. But if you’d rather have top free agent Nnamdi Asomugha, good luck. The Philadelphia Eagles paid $60 million for Asomigha and would probably like a refund about now.