One of the big name signing to the defensive secondary of the New York Jets was NFL veteran and ex-Jet Antonio Cromartie. The Jets signed the 31 year old cornerback to a $32 million dollar, four-year contract. At the time of the announcement, Jet fans were ecstatic at the news, many claiming the combination of Darrelle Revis would make this an instant playoff team.
Cromartie has become a favorite among many Jet fans over the years and rightfully so. His last stint with the Jets was very productive until a nagging hip injury ended his final year with the Jets. Cromartie had a bounce back season under Todd Bowles out in Arizona last year.
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Under Bowles, Cromartie was credited with 48 tackles, 43 solo, 5 assists and 3 interceptions. An increase in every category except interceptions from 2013, his final year with the Jets.
Going into this summer, Jet fans had every reason to be enthusiastic about Cromartie being a member of the organization. It’s still a bit early, but Cromartie’s play hasn’t been very encouraging to this point. Daily reports have Cromartie being beaten, sometimes badly by Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. Sure, these guys are top level talents in their own rights, but you’d surely like to see one of your star corners do a bit better in the one-on-one battles.
It doesn’t end there either. He’s been beaten consistently, embarrassed by Chris Owusu on more then one occasion this summer, and recently by Shaq Evans on a deep ball in which it appeared Cromartie bit on a double move badly. DeVier Posey, T.J Graham, and Jeremy Kerley have victimized Cromartie as well this summer. Simply put, what is wrong with Cromartie?
Cromartie has also been flagged for holding several times this summer, and if these were NFL games with refs, he would have drawn his share of pass interference calls as well. Cromartie has never liked a lot of contact, his game has always been built on his speed and his ability to recover, rather than technique and ball skills. He’s never been a strong tackler, but has looked sloppy in his efforts through camp.
August 11, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie (31) during practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Again, it is early, veterans often take a little time to shake off the rust and get back up to speed. Cromartie turned 31 this spring, and if he needs some time, no big deal. If what we have been seeing, is a drop off in Cromartie’s play, it could be troubling for the team however. The Jets’ secondary seemed a bit out of sorts in their opener last week, at a time of year where defenses are often ahead of the offense, it was a bit worrisome.
The Jets need a big season from Cromartie this year. His playing time might be reduced with the continuing good play from Dexter McDougle and Marcus Williams, but the Jets need him at his best when he’s out there. It hasn’t been a strong camp for the veteran this summer, but don’t count him out quite yet.
I only wish I could figure out what his problem is. Do you have any idea what it could be? Have you spotted something that might be his trouble? Am I over analyzing Cromartie’s performance? We hear at The Jet Press value your opinion. Please leave us a comment below and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!