There wasn’t much noise on the free agency front yesterday, but one big move that was announced came from New York. The Jets decided to move on from cornerback Antonio Cromartie, something that had to perk the interest of Patriots fans. Not only does this mean that Tom Brady will no longer have to deal with the talented corner twice a year, but it brings up the possibility of New England actually going after Cromartie, if they can’t retain Aqib Talib.
Now Cromartie is not as good as Talib. Not even close. But he is an extremely talented defensive player, one that could help the Pats if Talib leaves. He is a big guy, as his 6’2 build is eerily similar to guys like Talib and Richard Sherman. His aggressive playing style disrupts receivers routes, forces the quarterback to hold the ball longer, and if Cromartie is then challenged, he has the ball skills to take it away. However as Pats fans know, aggressive corners live dangerously. Cromartie plays like Talib, and like Talib, he gets beat for a long gain because of it. But that is something you learn to deal with when you rely so much on corners like them. You get a lot of good, but you also get some bad. I think his good far outweighs the bad, and if Talib’s camp wants a lot of money (which is likely), Cromartie might be a better value signing.
One reason everyone is still a little hesitant on opening the checkbook for Talib, is because of his history of injuries. Talib’s hip may never be right, and that probably will force him to miss many games over the final stretch of his career. Cromartie on the other hand, has missed one game in his eight year career. One game. That alone may be enough to take a chance on Cromartie instead of Talib. Even if Cromartie isn’t as talented as Talib, staying on the field is arguably more important than having a better skill set.
In his eight year career, Cromartie has amassed 325 tackles, 28 interceptions, and three touchdowns.
Tags: New England Patriots