Why Let Antonio Cromartie Walk?


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

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.