Nov 17, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Why Let Antonio Cromartie Walk?

Yesterday was an interesting day.

Attention was brought back on the hole at cornerback yesterday. Antonio Cromartie signed, but not with the Jets. Instead, he signed a one-year contract to join the Arizona Cardinals.

Then, the financials came out on the deal, and everyone in Jet Nation felt their eyebrows go up. The contract, per Rich Cimini, among others, was for one year, $3.25 million. Cro could earn an additional $500,000 if he plays in every game next season.

This was a pretty reasonably priced offer. This would not have hit the Jets hard at all. Why not match this? The Jets have a clear hole at the cornerback position. We know that Antonio Cromartie plays corner the way Rex needs a corner to play, and that Antonio wanted to come back. So, what happened? Why wouldn’t John Idzik fill the void? Is he asleep at the wheel, like a lot of people think?

The answer is no, absolutely not. Idzik is on top of things. Very much so.

First of all, look at the incentive. Not the amount, that is irrelevant, since it isn’t very high. No, look again at what the incentive is FOR. He earns the incentive if he plays in every game. What does that tell you? That there is no guarantee he will play in every game.

Why? Because the hip is not as 100% as Antonio would like everyone to think it is. Why else would you offer a guy an incentive to play in every game? That’s his job. Unless, you have learned something that makes you concerned that he won’t play in every game.

Good catch by Idzik.

Secondly, John Idzik isn’t blind either. He actually watched Antonio play last season. With his eyes open. As did the rest of us. So, he too saw Cro get beaten like a drum on a regular basis in 2013. Some of it was due to injury. Some of it to having a really bad season. He did post three interceptions last year, but they were barely noticeable, with how badly he was beaten, regularly.

Maybe John and the staff just aren’t confident that Antonio Cromartie’s game is going to be back up to snuff in 2014. It’s not as if Cro had his choice of ten teams to sign with. There’s a reason for that.

So in closing, there may be quite a lot of things to hold against John Idzik. Letting Cromartie walk is not one of them.

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Tags: Antonio Cromartie New York Jets Nfl Free Agency

  • Paul Newbold

    The Jets never had any intention of re signing Cro. The financials prove that. Look the Jets doctors and trainers were all over that injury last season. He’d been poked, prodded, x rayed, MRIed, to death. Yes. a doctor said it didn’t need surgery, but that means little. Cromartie’s game always relied heavily on his speed, the knock on him his whole career was he wasn’t physical enough at the line. He used his acceleration to make up for separation while the ball was on its way. At 33, the legs and the hip have slowed him, the result, he got beat deep and often last season. Thanks for the memories Cro, good luck with the Cardinals! The Jets made the right move by cutting him…I just wish they had sprung for his replacement!

    • Alan Schechter

      All fair points Paul. I can see that, they may not have had any intention of bringing him back. The play, plus the injury means bye bye Cro.

    • Frank Antonelli

      I agree the Jets know more about Cro’s health than anyone else. He’s an athlete that depends largely on his athletic ability and with that compromised he was rated as one of the worst cornerbacks last year. As for his replacement there is a loooong way before the first game of the season.