Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie played well after Darrelle Revis was injured in 2012, but his play didn’t hold up as the team’s top corner during the 2013 season.
Cromartie struggled on the field and suffered a hip injury that may require offseason surgery, which has led to some conversation about how he fits on the roster moving forward. Cromartie is set to make $5 million roster bonus in March while counting a whopping $15 million against the cap, both of which would be big numbers for a player coming off a better season than Cromartie just turned in.
Cromarite would need to be extended to get that cap number down, but Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Cromartie told teammates he expects to be released before that bonus becomes due. That’s a pretty realistic view of the situation, although Cromartie also reportedly added that he hopes to re-sign with the Jets at a more budget-friendly number.
By releasing him, the Jets can get a sense of what Cromartie’s value is on the open market and decide whether or not they want to pay it to bring him back. As Cimini points out, they did the same thing with linebacker Calvin Pace last year and wound up getting 10 sacks at a much better price than they would have paid by just keeping Pace on the roster the entire time.