Antonio Cromartie has been a big part of the Jets defense for the past four seasons, but with a large unwieldy $5 million bonus (that to our knowledge couldn’t be restructured) looming on the third day of the league year this Thursday, it is no secret that the Jets and Antonio Cromartie were heading towards a split. The question since December has been whether that split would be permanent or temporary.
Since the season ended, Cromartie has been frank that he expected the Jets to release him, but he has also expressed his desire to stay with the Jets and finish his career with the team. “This is where I want to be, that’s where I want to retire,” Cromartie told NBC Sports back in January.
Sunday afternoon the Jets released Cromartie, and the all-star took to Twitter to say his thanks to the organization and the fans in what seemed like a final goodbye to New York.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comCutting Cromartie represents an $9.5 million cap savings for the Jets, which is made more interesting by the interest the team expressed Saturday in pending free agent CB Alterraun Verner. Cromartie was going to be cut one way or another between now and Thursday, but the timeline based on the team’s actions yesterday around the Titans cornerback make any interest in Verner seem a lot more compelling.
Cromartie came a long way in his four years in New York. When he arrived, there were many questions surrounding his character and play on the field. His four years in New York have put much of that to rest. In that time, he has demonstrated the progress that he has made not only as a player but as a man.
It is our wish that Cromartie could return, but the finality in the tone of those tweets seems to indicate that both sides are moving on. We thank Antonio Cromartie for his play on the field and his mentoring of younger Jets players over the past few years.
We wish Cro and his family the best in all their future endeavors.