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Antonio Cromartie: Pursue or No?

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Chris Mortensen of ESPN says San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie is available.

With LaDainian Tomlinson's career in San Diego declared all but over and Darren Sproles facing free agency, the Chargers are exploring possible trade scenarios that include dealing cornerback Antonio Cromartie to acquire a running back, according to league sources.

Cromartie is a four-year starter, a former first-round draft pick and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he intercepted 10 passes. Sources have said he has fallen out of favor with the Chargers, who also have a pair of corners in Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason who were first-round picks

This may sound tempting. Consider the cost, though. The Chargers aren't giving up a former Pro Bowl corner for a 31 year old running back with one year left on his contract, Thomas Jones. They would either have to give an old running back a new deal or give up Cromartie for a rental. It's not going to be Leon Washington. Leon has never been a full time back, is coming off a major injury, and will require a big contract of his own. The Chargers could just give a similar player they know, Darren Sproles, a new contract.

It's probably going to cost Shonn Greene. Greene sure looked like a star in the making near the end of the year. He looks like a power/speed guy in the Michael Turner/Brandon Jacobs mold. He's going to be an asset to the run game for the next few years. Dealing him will force the Jets to rely on that aging back to carry them another season.

Would Cromartie be worth it? I don't think so. I've always thought he was overrated. Yes, he's incredibly fast and athletic. He makes some spectacular plays. I don't think he's consistent enough, though. There are too many times he looks sloppy in coverage or shies away from contact. There are plays he looks great but too many where he looks bad. Domonique Wilkins made more highlight reels than Larry Bird. Bird was a much better player because he always did the little things, while Domonique didn't consistently. Cromartie is Wilkins. He gets beaten too much for me to feel safe about him on a defense that puts so much on the corners. Giving up Greene would make such a move border on insanity. I would be just as reluctant to give up a potential future star in the form of a high Draft pick.

I vote don't pursue.

How do you vote?