Departure of Antonio Cromartie Will Come Back To Haunt New York Jets If Pass Defense Struggles

By Vinny Lanni
Getty Images
Getty Images

Even in what many people would call a “down year” for the New York Jets‘ No.1 corner back Antonio Cromartie, he still managed to make the Pro Bowl as a replacement and have a solid season in 2013. When the offseason began, the Jets wanted to bring back their top corner and he wanted to be a part of the team, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a contract. Jets GM John Idzik is known to be a tough negotiator, but he was stubborn to let the talented 30-year-old veteran pack his bags and head to the Arizona Cardinals because right now, the Jets’ pass defense looks a little shaky.

The kicker in this situation is that Cromartie didn’t want a huge contract. He wanted to be on the Jets, but Idzik and company thought Cromartie was on the down side of his career and after battling with an injury all season long, the Jets didn’t want to extend him. Want to know how much Cromartie got paid in Arizona? Only $3.25 million for a one-year contract, which is not a lot for a talented No.1 corner who has proven himself to play at a high-level in the league. Now, do you want to know how much the Jets paid his replacement Dimitri Patterson, who is best suited as a No.3 corner back in the NFL? A similar $3 million contract for one year.

That just doesn’t make a who lot of sense, especially considering Patterson in 31 years old and he’s never made the Pro Bowl. When he signed with the Jets, it was his seventh new team that he’d joined over the course of his career, so he’s yet to impress and catch on with one team.

If anyone watched the Jets’ first preseason game, it was obvious that Patterson was lost out there on the field. The Jets had him playing No. 2 corner when he is best suited as a No. 3. I’m not knocking Patterson, but he is nowhere near the level of Cromartie; I’m just being honest. NFL scouts consider Patterson a boarder line starter at CB, and that would either put him as a low No. 3 corner or a player that only plays in specific packages. To let your 2013 top CB walk and replace him with a low No. 3 is a very risky move, and it’s something to think about if the Jets struggle against the pass this season.

Granted, the Jets were in the bottom of the NFL for pass defense in 2013, but I wouldn’t blame Cromartie for all of the team’s struggles; I mean, he did make the Pro Bowl. An extra $500,000 could’ve brought back Cromartie to the green and white, but the big guys upstairs must know something that I don’t. The Jets also had Antonio’s cousin Dominique Rodgers Cromartie close to signing with them, but he walked to the New York Giants and he wanted big money, so I understand that move. Maybe the Jets just don’t like the Cromartie family, but if the Jets’ corners struggle this season, I pin it on the front office and its inability to address the need in the offseason.

Patterson needs to quickly rebound from his poor performance in the team’s first preseason game and make fans forget about the guy he was brought in to replace.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for He also adds to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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