Antonio Cromartie saw it coming.
Appearing in January on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk, Cromartie said he expected to be a cap casualty. On Sunday, he was proven right.
“I think I am, just because my cap number is very high and I had one of the worst seasons of my career this past year,” Cromartie said.
Cutting Cromartie avoids a $5 million roster bonus due in March, a $4.3 million base salary, and a $200,000 workout bonus. That’s a total of $9.5 million that Cromartie would have been paid.
With the market for cornerbacks rebounding this year, Cromartie could still do fairly well on the open market. Between signing bonus and base salary, he could still get at least $9.5 million this year on a multi-year deal.
Especially if teams accept that his performance last year was the result of injury.
“I was banged up,” Cromartie said. “You know, I got hurt in Week Two but that’s not an excuse. You know, if I’m going to go out and go play every single week, I expect for myself to be playing at a high level and my teammates and my organization expects for me to be playing at a high level, so I never make excuses. You know, I just had a bad year. And that falls heavily on me and no one else.”
That kind of candor is rare and refreshing. It could help Cromartie, who still hasn’t turned 30, in his quest to find another job.