NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Antonio Cromartie has started a movement to make sure he remains with the Jets for the rest of his career. He’s doing it because he’s honestly fearful the team may not want him next season.
The Jets probably want him back, but not at the massive salary he will be making.
Cromartie, who fought through injuries during an up-and-down 2013 season, reportedly told teammates recently that he thinks the Jets will cut him during the offseason. The soon-to-be-30-year-old cornerback is due a $5 million roster bonus in March and counts $15 million against the cap next season.
Cromartie struggled with a hip injury all season, playing opposite rookie Dee Milliner. Despite recording three interceptions, Cromartie’s usually reliable work in coverage was noticeably average. It is believed the veteran corner could opt for surgery on the hip to correct the problem.
It’s possible the Jets could try to go the same route with Cromartie as they did Calvin Pace last offseason. The veteran linebacker was released and tested his value on the open market, only to be re-signed later at a very cap friendly rate. Pace then went on to have one of his best seasons, recording 10 sacks as the rebuilding Jets surprised many by finishing the 2013 season 8-8.
The Jets have the futures of several high-priced players to consider. In addition to Cromartie, both quarterback Mark Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes have one year left on their contracts, but have gigantic cap numbers.
Popular opinion is the Jets will cut both Sanchez and Holmes, but will find a way to keep Cromartie at a reduced rate. With those moves the Jets are expected to be at least $40 million under the cap, giving general manager John Idzik ample room to improve a team that sorely lacked talent at the offensive skill positions this past season.
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