In the first moves to prepare for the free agency period the New York Jets have released All pro corner back Antonio Cromartie and star wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Cromartie and Holmes were some of the last remaining players from the Mike Tannenbaum era of over paid, back heavy contracts. Both players had trouble contributing on the field this past season, with both slowed down by past injuries, and Holmes missing several games because of new injuries. At the end of the day, these two were going to make too much compared to what they could deliver in the future, and with a variety of positions to fill before next season it was only a matter of time before these two were cut to make space.
By cutting Cromartie the Jets will save 9.5 million against the cap next season, now the departure of Santonio Holmes will save them another 8.25 million. By not using the June 1st designation on Holmes, the Jets will take the dead money hit all this season, but the year after our hands will be clean of this contract. This surely points to the money management style of John Idzik, showing that he doesn’t want extra money on credit, he wants to pay the interest fee and charge up front and get it out of the way. This also further shows how his style contrasts that of Tannenbaum’s, who was the one who penned these two players current contracts, which show the complete opposite approach. Essentially these were back heavy contracts that the Jets are paying for now, he bought their skills in 2009 and 10 on credit to keep the Jets under the cap then. Because of Idzik’s moves the Jets are sitting with just under 40 million in cap space right now, giving the Jets room to make big moves in free agency.
Holmes and Cromartie were both given a chance to reinvigorate their careers here with the Jets, and they definitely did so, with Cro having one of his best seasons as a cornerback in 2012, and Holmes getting one last chance to flash his postseason heroics in 2010. Injuries have severely slowed these two guys down and in past seasons, and with their loss the Jets lose two great veterans. However, there is hope they may soon be Jets again. After all the injuries other teams might be scared away, and the Jets could be afforded the opportunity to bring these guys back, a la Calvin Pace style, to short term contracts at reduced rates. Although we may see these guys back as Jets, for now, I would like to thank Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes for their service to the franchise and the fan-base, we went through some really good and some really bad times together.