NY Jets 2015 Spotlight: Antonio Cromartie
The NY Jets decided to reunite with cornerback Antonio Cromartie to partner him up with Darrelle Revis last season. Things didn’t turn out quite as expected in his triumphant return.
The return of Cromartie along with Revis helped solidify the Jets’ defense to become an elite unit. Before they returned, in 2014 the Jets’ defensive secondary was terrible due to their absence. The Jets were one of the worst teams in pass coverage and knew they had to fix this problem fast last offseason.
Cromartie has been a true veteran presence in any locker room he has been in and loves developing young players who need the help. He also would be able to have everyone focused to make key defensive stops when the team needed it. The only problem is his age and if he still has the ability to maintain coverage on the younger and faster receiving targets coming his way.
Last season, Cromartie had a career low in numbers when he recorded just 29 tackles, zero interceptions and zero forced fumbles. Cromartie has the ability to make plays but looks like he has lost a step. He is 31 years old and many wonder if this was his last year with Gang Green. Those that played under him stepped up and produced much more to help out the Jets’ defense.
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Cromartie was consistently having problems throughout the season since many plays he was beaten by the deep ball or he would struggle in coverage.
It might be time to cut ties because he is either going to continue regressing or either play the same way he did this past season which won’t cut it next time around.
The Jets might want to make him a salary cap casualty due to his huge contract. Last offseason, Cromartie signed a four-year deal with $32 million which is way too much to commit to a defensive back for such sub par numbers. He wasn’t all that good either on special teams as the Jets’ return specialist as he doesn’t have the burst speed like he use to have.
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It will be a difficult decision in what the Jets will do with Cromartie because he can be either released or he could consider a reduced role with a pay cut. He is still capable of playing in the NFL but the only thing that lingers over him is how he gets injured a lot. He’s a mentor on the team to the younger players but at the end of the day, the NFL is a business.
If he’s willing to take a pay cut and stick around for depth, the Jets should keep him. If he doesn’t, then the Jets should think it’s time to part ways yet again.