Shutdown Corner - NFL

The San Diego Chargers cornerback seems to have a two-pronged plan for creating legions of young Antonio Cromartie(notes) fans.

Step 1: Work extremely hard in this offseason to recover from the poor showing he had in 2008; and,

Step 2: Through the miracle of human reproduction, populate America with young people who share the last name “Cromartie.”

Cromartie’s original excuse for his subpar 2008 was a hip injury. In a feature by Kevin Acee in yesterday’s San Diego Union Tribune, Cromartie mixed in his seven children and five paternity suits to his excuse cocktail.

“Last year my head wasn't in there,” Cromartie said. “I was dealing with my kids and their moms. It had my mind somewhere else.”

There are a lot of directions to be pulled when you have seven kids living in five states.

Cromartie has been named in at least five paternity suits in the past two years. Wichard said all of those have been addressed.

“It's all part of the simplification process,” [Cromartie’s agent Gary] Wichard said. “Everyone will be taken care of.”

Cromartie’s just 24 years old, if you were curious. Seven kids puts him on an incredible pace. Somewhere, Shawn Kemp is sitting back and saying to himself, “Damn, that guy takes virility to a whole other level.”

In addition to the broken hip and the paternity suits, I think we can also safely assume that a lack of bodily fluids contributed to Cromartie’s down year in ‘08. Someone get that man a G2 and a protein shake.

The good news is that the rest of Acee’s article details how Cromartie’s handling this offseason with some insane workouts, and making sure the children are taken care of. He doesn’t see them all regularly, but he does see some of them. He’s “trying” to take care of them all financially. He feels he can do this by becoming the best cornerback he can be.

To that end, he’s undergoing some torturous MMA-style workouts that have him dragging a giant tire up and down a hill, and beating that same tire with a sledgehammer. His work ethic and natural athletic ability are drawing rave reviews from his trainers.

I hope it all pays off. Those kids and their mothers deserve to take an Antonio Cromartie Super Bowl bonus check and split it seven ways.

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