Jets must bring back Antonio Cromartie for 2016
The New York Jets must bring back cornerback Antonio Cromartie to help fill the gap the team has in its defensive secondary with his leadership.
As organized team activities begin, the defense of the New York Jets looks a lot different now that many players have moved on to either another team or have retired from the game. One person that is still out there in the free agent market the Jets should consider re-signing is Cromartie. He brings a veteran presence that the team would need in order for it to be successful on the defensive side of the ball. Even though he didn’t have a great year in 2015, he still played through multiple injuries during the season and that speaks a lot of the type of player he is.
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Last season, Cromartie and Darrelle Revis were able to be a successful secondary duo. Cromartie is also willing to come back to the team on a less expensive contract but it might not happen until the summer or even at all. He really loves playing in New York because of how passionate the fans are but at the end of the day, it’ a business.
Even though the Jets have a few players on the roster who can take Cromartie’s position, it will be difficult for them to fill his veteran presence and overall leadership. Even though head coach Todd Bowles has said that it is a open competition for the second cornerback with Dee Milliner, Marcus Williams and Buster Skrine, it will be very difficult for them to build a strong team chemistry without the leadership Cromartie brings.
What also is a big concern is how well can Milliner and Williams perform this year after suffering season ending injuries last year. Milliner should not even be considered to be a starter as he hasn’t proved anything. The only player that could be trusted is Skrine who is a veteran on the team that signed with the Jets last offseason.
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If Skrine takes over the second cornerback position, then that will leave a big gap in trying to protect the slot receiver which he was very successful at doing last season.
The only concern that the Jets might have is they are going to deal with a older player and that he can get hurt easier.
Cromartie is a very versatile player who can help in taking kickoffs and punt returns.
Cromartie could help Revis develop the younger players on the team to have them understand what Bowles and the Jets are expecting on and off the field. If he is willing to be a backup and not have to play every single down, the Jets should consider signing him at the veteran minimum.
The Jets are going to have to make a tough decision but the organization will need to act fast. Even though he had a rough season last year, he is worth at least bringing back to help be a leader again for a young defensive secondary that will need guidance.
With many new faces on the defensive side of the ball, Revis and Cromartie will need to be the leaders and direct the positional unit in the right direction. Cromartie will be needing to take a significant pay cut because he is no where near what he use to be.
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Cromartie struggled a lot last season but he was a clutch player when the team needed someone to step up. If they were to reunite for a third time, at least with him in a backup role, the Jets and Cromartie will need to get a contract done real soon or else he might be walking away from the game for good.