Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie recently worked out and took a physical for the Jets and Giants earlier last week. Both teams were looking for a starting corner, and the Giants won on this fight. The financial aspects of the deal came out and it might be able to actually help the Jets in future free agent deals. Rodgers-Cromartie, despite being one of the top corners in free agency, and only 27 years old signed a deal for five years and $39 million, of which only $14 million is guaranteed salary. How can this possibly help the Jets?
Well there is another free agent corner that the Jets just cut named Antonio Cromartie, who we’ve all seen for the last four years. He was cut for an inflated cap number. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume if Rogers-Cromartie got that type of money, than Antonio’s value would be 2/3 of that, or possibly even ½ considering the factors of his increased age (30), his injured hip last season, as well as his play taking a dip last year.
I’m willing to admit that he was beaten often last year, but he also was the #1 corner on that team, and played with nagging injuries. When Milliner wasn’t playing well, and Kyle Wilson was getting flagged routinely, Cromartie drew the top receiving assignment nearly every week.
If the Jets are willing to set Dee Milliner loose as the top corner after his play the last three or so games of the year, they may be able to flip-flop the rolls and let Cromartie be the off corner, and let Milliner take the harder match-ups every week. With more confidence, and a year under his belt it is a possibility.
While I’m not saying Cromartie is a top ten cornerback anymore, I do think he is still middle of the pack as far as starters go. He’s already stated he wants to come back to New York at a reduced deal. The idea of letting him come in on a Bucs-Revis type deal with no real guaranteed money, and around $5 million per season and very little guaranteed would be a win to me, and a better deal than $40 million the Giants just paid to Rodgers-Cromartie. They could even get creative by adding in roster bonuses, and workout bonuses every year, or put in escalators based on pay to make the salary equivalent to the level of play every year. What do you all think? Can we let Antonio retire as a Jet with a multi –year low guaranteed bonus salary?