Friday, March 5, 2010

The two sides of the Antonio Cromartie acquisition

The Jets made a bold move late Thursday night, acquiring cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers for a conditional 2011 third-round draft pick, which can escalate to a second-rounder based on Cromartie’s performance with New York.

From an on-field perspective, this is a good deal. While Cromartie certainly isn’t the same player he was in 2007, he won’t have to be. Being paired with Darrelle Revis and playing in Rex Ryan’s system will allow him to play more match-up man schemes. He’ll also be covering the opposition’s number two receiver, which will make a difference.

Off the field are where most of the issues come up. Cromartie has seven children with six different women in five different states, according to Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also has a history of misbehaving in the locker room and some minor legal transgressions.

While he wouldn’t be the first player in the NFL to have multiple children and owe lots of child support, the Chargers have been shopping him for over a year, which makes you wonder. His decline in production has a lot to do with it but his attitude has undoubtedly played a big part.

If Cromartie plays well, it will cost the Jets a second-round pick and some big money to re-sign him, since he’s in the last year of his contract. If not, they’ll lose a third-rounder, which is a steep price for a guy that may only play one year.

If he can stay in line with the Jets, though, and realize that he will be asked to be Robin to Revis’ Batman, things will work out fine for Gang Green.

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