New York Jets Sign Cornerback Antonio Cromartie A lot was made of how the Jets would struggle to upgrade their roster in 2010, with the Final Four Rules seriously restricting their normally-bustling activity on the free-agent market.
Well, in Rex Ryan fashion, New York raised a certain and yelled, “Screw the rules” an hour before the start of free agency.
Jets have acquired on-the-block Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie for a conditional 2011 draft pick — a second- or third-rounder, depending on playing time. And so now Cromartie is paired with Darrelle Revis to form a potentially fearsome pair of corners to patrol the New Meadowlands.
The downside for the Jets is considerable here. Cromartie had grown a reputation inside the Charger organization, from what I’ve heard, as an underachiever who’d declined as a playmaker (though he didn’t yield many big players) and had a problem with authority late in his time in San Diego. He also didn’t play a physical game, which was pretty obvious in the playoffs. Then, there are his legal issues.
The upshot is a corner as physically gifted as any in the game. He fits Rex Ryan’s desire for man-cover corners. He’ll get thrown at, to be sure, with Revis on the other side, and he’s got an 11-interception season in the books. And his presence, combined with Revis, will allow the defensive coaches all kinds of creative leeway in their rush packages.
Hard to argue the Jets didn’t just get better — if Ryan pushes the right buttons, they could be a lot better for this. But there’s significant risk here, too. Should be interesting.