AFC East Notes: Cromartie, Develin, Pouncey

Before they released cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Monday, the Jets did not ask him to take a pay cut, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Cromartie had been set to earn an $8MM base salary for 2016, but none of it was guaranteed, and there was no prorated signing bonus money on the cornerback’s deal, so the Jets cleared the entire $8MM cap hit from their books.

The fact that the Jets didn’t ask Cromartie to come back at a reduced price – combined with his farewell Instagram post on Monday – suggests that the team probably doesn’t have any interest in re-signing him now that he has hit free agency.

Here’s more on how the Jets may replace Cromartie, along with a couple more items from out of the AFC East:

  • Former undrafted free agent Marcus Williams deserves the first crack at taking over for Cromartie, says Rich Cimini of In Cimini’s view, promoting an in-house option or using a mid-round pick on a cornerback makes more sense than diving into the free agent market, since the $8MM the team saved on Cromartie could be used elsewhere.
  • Fullback James Develin is a part of the Patriots‘ free agent plans and they want him back, Mike Reiss of writes. Now, they have to figure out how to accomplish that. Develin a restricted free agent and the Pats could tender him at the lowest level, which would be $1.6MM. That salary would make him the sixth-highest paid fullback in the NFL (as of this writing).
  • Dolphins center Mike Pouncey revealed that he recently underwent surgery, as Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. Pouncey suffered what was believed to be a minor foot injury in the Dolphins’ Week 15 loss to the Chargers, but it’s not immediately clear if he went under the knife to fix that foot. That injury cost Pouncey the final two games of the ’15 season and kept him from playing in the Pro Bowl.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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