In a vacuum, keeping Antonio Cromartie would make sense. He is a pretty good man to man corner in a scheme where corner play is important. There are other factors at play here, though. The Jets need to prioritize their free agents. David Harris is an obvious keeper. The team also has both starting wide receivers as free agents.
With a young quarterback still developing and Rex Ryan running the show, I would opt to give the offense help. Rex can alays figure out how to make things work with less defensive talent. The Jets had the top pass defense in the league with Lito Sheppard starting in 2009. There could just be less mixing and matching, and Darrelle Revis exclusively drawing the other team's best guy again. Cromartie definitely gave flexibility, but that was more of a luxury.
In addition, a promising youngster, Kyle Wilson, is on the roster and ready for a bigger role. He could be ready to become a big contributor at a fraction of the price. Instead of spending elite money in the crazy cornerback market for a guy with inconsistent flashes, the team could go with Wilson, find a veteran for insurance, and keep the team strong in other spots.
If Cromartie is a restricted free agent, I would like to see the team use a high tender on him. At a reasonable price, seeing whether Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine can get him to use consistent technique would be worth another year of work. If a team really wants him badly, the Jets could get some great Draft picks. I would, however, be inclined to let Cro walk if he is unrestricted and due a pay day.
That is my vote. What is yours?