March 04, 2010
The Chargers got what they wanted: A 2011 third-round draft pick (which could turn into a second-rounder) in exchange for cornerback Antonio Cromartie(notes). Cromartie gets a pretty sweet deal, too: He gets to be a cornerback for Rex Ryan, where he'll get to play all the man coverage he wants.
The pick turns into a second-rounder if Cromartie and/or the Jets meet certain performance levels.
Good deal for the Jets? Well, I'll say this: I'm not going to doubt much of what Rex Ryan does right now. After the year he had, and the way he turned the Jets defense into a dominant unit, Rex Ryan could announce that he plans to start Grimace at free safety, and I'd just nod and say, "Do your thing, Rex."
Just hours before the deal was announced, the Jets released veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard, who was the incumbent second corner for the Jets, before being unceremoniously benched in the playoffs. Clearly, the second cornerback position was an area of need.
Cromartie's physical abilities have never been in doubt. He's big, strong, fast and physical. Injuries have hindered him, though, and the Chargers haven't always been enamored with his attitude.
If there's anywhere he'll succeed, though, it's with the Jets under Ryan. Their heavy-blitzing, man-covering, rely-on-your-corners style is exactly what Cromartie wants. And there's no one better than Ryan at getting the most out of defensive players.
Once upon a time, Antonio Cromartie was labeled as a future shutdown corner in the NFL, and if he's ever going to become that, he's in the perfect situation for it.
That would give the Jets two, and that would be frightening for the rest of the league.
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