Jets end Antonio Cromartie's second stint with team after just one season
Cromartie signed with the Jets again last offseason after spending a year in Arizona.
The New York Jets announced on Monday that they've released cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie, who left the Jets for the Arizona Cardinals prior to the 2014 season, signed a four-year, $32 million contract to return the team last offseason. He'd previously been with the Jets from 2010 to 2013.
Cromartie's deal was part of general manager Mike Maccagnan's big spending spree to give head coach Todd Bowles the pieces he needed to play the aggressive type of defense that typified his time as the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets also signed Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, and Marcus Gilchrist as part of the overhaul of their defensive backfield.
Cromartie proceeded to struggle throughout much of the first year of that four-year contract. According to tracking from Pro Football Focus, he allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 42 passes for 790 yards and 7 touchdowns against him this season, yielding a passer rating of 112.0. That rating ranked 70th among the 81 corners that played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps this season.
Given the fact that Cromartie had no more guaranteed money left on his contract but the Jets could save $8 million against this year's cap by releasing him, it shouldn't come as all that big a surprise that they did so, especially considering his advancing age (he'll be 32 by the start of next season). Put all that together with his declining play, and this was a relatively expected move.
Still, this is basically the same scenario that led Cromartie to Arizona for the 2014 season. He'd struggled in his last year with the Jets and Arizona picked him up on a cheap, one-year deal. He excelled there, then got another contract with New York. Because he's shown the ability to bounce back from a poor season -- and has a fairly decent track record overall -- it would not be surprising to see someone give him a shot on a similar, prove-it type of deal next season.
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