It’s no secret that cornerback Antonio Cromartie has struggled this season. The 16th ranked corner in 2012 is now ranked 104th out of 110 corners ranked by Pro Football Focus and given a cumulative -9.7 grade. The primary culprit seems to be a injury to his right hip which he has been battling with since August.
He fractured the hip back in 2007 with the Chargers and believes this new injury is a result of “wear and tear” after five years. He told reporters earlier today that he will seek out hip specialists at the end of the season and focus on getting healthy for 2014.
Cromartie’s season has been derailed by a nagging injury to his right hip. The cornerback has said his speed has been compromised as a result. So has his status among the NFL’s top cornerbacks after Cromartie made the Pro Bowl in 2012. Despite leading the team with three interceptions, receivers have repeatedly beaten Cromartie this season, opening up an avenue to split apart the Jets’ defense.
Cromartie faces doubt on a couple of fronts. He said Thursday that he will visit hip specialists soon after the offseason begins. Cromartie’s inclination is that this year’s injury, which popped up during the Jets’ second preseason game in August, is related to a fracture of the same hip suffered in the first game of the 2007 season, when he played for the San Diego Chargers.
Cromartie managed to play through that injury five years ago, and has not missed a game this season either. But he says he must work diligently throughout the year to sustain the fitness of the hip.
“I’ve been maintaining it very well these past five years up until this year and it happened to re-occur — tweak it a little bit,” Cromartie said. “For me it’s understanding what we have to do from there and if there is surgery that needs to be done to the point of trying to clean it out then that’s something we have to do.”
Eric Weeks, TheJetsBlog.comThere has been a lot of discussion over whether or not Cromartie will return next year. His contract ($14.98 million, presently the largest cap number of any player in 2014) and performance will play a role in the Jets’ decision to retain the veteran.
However, it is rather unfair to give too much credence to this year’s performance given he was largely compromised by his hip ailment and when he’s been healthy, he’s proven himself to be a solid player.
By the time September rolls around he will be 30 and now has injured the same hip twice in a brief span of time. At his current price, that is too risky for the team. To Cromartie’s credit, he has expressed a willingness to renegotiate a contract and even claimed he wanted to retire with New York.
“I want to make sure I’m here, my family wants to be here and this is where I want to retire,” Cromartie said.
It remains to be seen where John Idzik stands on the Cromartie front but these next few days, weeks and months will certainly allow us to get to know the quiet and calculating GM and see what plans are in the works for this team.