According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the New York Jets have just signed Antonio Cromartie to a contract. The bidding for Cromartie had reportedly come down to the Jets and Raiders. In fact it was just an hour ago that ESPN's John Clayton tweeted:
Just checked on Antonio Cromartie. No deal tonight. Raiders are in mix, but Jets working hard to get it done.
I am in no way surprised that Cromartie inked with the Jets. After they lost out on Asomugha, I didn't see them letting Cromartie get away. I am also glad that the Raiders didn't over pay for Cromartie. According to Rich Cimini Cromartie got four years and $32 million.
But that means the Raiders are also without a new corner. They may just decide to roll with what they got and shift there focus to a different position in free agency, or they might start looking for another corner. The good news is the Raiders were just in negotiations with a player that signed a contract with an average annual value of $8 million. That means every player left available could still be had by this team. And certainly all of the corners. Jump over for the list....
Carlos Rogers, Redskins, 6' 190 lbs
Lito Sheppard, Vikings, 5'10" 195 lbs
Phillip Buchanon, Redskins, 5'11" 185 lbs
Kelly Jennings, Seahawks, 5'11" 180 lbs
Of this group, the only guy I would want starting is Rogers. Rogers is looking for big money though, and he probably has a pretty decent offer on the table from the 'Skins already. He is likely headed back to Washington. He would be a good fit though. He has great bump and run man coverage skills.
The others would be solid nickel options, and players that have starting experience if there is an injury. I've seen enough of Buchanon to know that I don't really want him to come back, but I figured I'd put him on the list, and as depth, he may not be a disaster. Sheppard is a proud veterans and would be a solid addition. I'm not sure I want him running around in man coverage all game, but as a nickel corner he could be big contributors.
Jennings shows flashes, and he has great coverage skills, but zero ball skills. He routinely gets beat even though he is in great position.
In other words, there aren't a lot of options out there right now. That makes me nervous. I am fine with Routt and CJ starting, but CJ is an injury waiting to happen. And I don't want any of the young guys starting this year. Hopefully they prove me wrong, but the thought frightens me. The young guys need to step up their learning curve.