Jets Release Antonio Cromartie

A year after bringing him back on a four-year contract, the Jets have released cornerback Antonio Cromartie, the team announced today in a press release. As a vested veteran, Cromartie will become an unrestricted free agent without having to pass through waivers, giving him a head start on this year’s free agent period.Antonio Cromartie

Cromartie, who turns 32 in April, had earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2012 to 2014, earning him a four-year, $32MM deal with the Jets last March. However, he wasn’t as effective as usual during his first season back in New York — Pro Football Focus ranked him 86th out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.

Because Cromartie’s pact was essentially a pay-as-you-go deal, it allowed the Jets to get out of it this year without taking on any dead money for the veteran corner. In his first year, Cromartie earned a $5MM base salary and a $2MM roster bonus. For 2016, his $8MM base salary was fully non-guaranteed, so New York creates $8MM in cap savings by releasing him.

While Cromartie will hit free agency, it doesn’t appear likely that the Jets’ other big cornerback signings from 2015 are going anywhere this offseason. With Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, and former first-rounder Dee Milliner among the cornerbacks in the mix for New York heading into 2016, the team may look to fortify the position with an addition or two in free agency and/or the draft.

As for Cromartie, he figures to draw interest on the open market, despite coming off a down year. A reunion with the Cardinals, his 2014 team, is one possibility, though he’ll likely have other suitors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Jets Release Antonio Cromartie

  1. Bobby Sweet

    With his signing bonus likely accelerating onto the cap, how is this a good move? How much money do they really save here?

  2. Rory Parks

    Not only did his coverage slip–although he’s always had the propensity to get burned–but he failed to make up for it with his usual playmaking prowess (no picks, no forced fumbles, etc.) He’s always been a little overrated, but given his name value and the need for CBs, he’ll land on his feet.


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