Antonio Cromartie made a name for himself this year with the New York Jets…mostly for struggling to name all of his kids. But the 26-year-old cornerback is set to hit the free agent market for the first time in his career, and he could be headed out of New York.
Cromartie had a decent year, bouncing back from an awful season with the San Diego Chargers in 2009 where his toughness and commitment were questioned. He played in 15 games for the Jets in 2010, and recorded 42 tackles, and snagged three interceptions. He was also seventh in the NFL with 17 passes defended.
To be sure, Cromartie didn’t rise to the level of his Pro Bowl season from 2007, but still he had a solid year playing opposite Darrelle Revis.
Some team will likely be willing to overpay for Cromartie. His tantalizing physical skills (6’2, 210, 4.34) will help teams overlook his personal issues, and he’s already being recruited. Darnell Dockett already took to his Twitter to lobby for Cromartie to head west.
Cromartie told the New York Daily News he’d like to be back with the Jets because he likes the team’s style of defense and loves playing for Rex Ryan.
The Jets will try to get Cromartie to re-sign, but the question is how hard will the try? They drafted Kyle Wilson with the No. 29 pick in the 2010 NFL draft, and I’m sure they don’t plan on having him play nickleback forever. Also, hey won’t shell out a ton of dough for Cromartie, especially considering that they have 16 other free agents they’ll probably be interested in having back.
Would Cromartie take a smaller contract to stay with the Jets? We’re not sure. After all, he has a lot of mouths to feed.