clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Antonio Cromartie: Stay or Go? Part 1: Introduction

The San Diego Chargers selected Antonio Cromartie in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Florida State. The cornerback cracked the starting lineup halfway through the 2007 season and instantly played like a shutdown corner. He finished that 2007 season with 10 interceptions despite only starting 8 contests.

The next two years saw the Chargers move to more of a zone based scheme, which spelled struggles for Cromartie. Battling a hip ailment in addition, he was inconsistent. On top of this, he made news for all of the wrong reasons, fathering 7 illegitimate children with 6 women between 2007 and 2010. These factors led the Chargers to trade him to the Jets in the offseason before the 2010 campaign.

Cromartie got married over that offseason. Nobody aside from those close to the situation knows how that impacted him off the field. On the field, though, he played pretty well. His athleticism and 6'2" 210 pound frame made him a better fit for Rex Ryan's scheme than the system he was playing in San Diego. He had a clutch kickoff return to set up the winning drive pinch hitting for Brad Smith in the Playoffs in Indianapolis. He was very good the next week in New England, backing up some pretty vulgar trash talk against Tom Brady.

Cromartie is set to be a free agent. He is another player who could either be a restricted free agent or an unrestricted free agent depending on how things turn out with the CBA. Will the Jets keep him around to be Robin to Darrelle Revis' Batman?