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Antonio Cromartie released by Jets: Should Raiders be interested?

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Veteran CB Antonio Cromartie was released again by the New York Jets and will be a free agent. Is he a player Oakland should look to sign?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Today the New York Jets announced they have released 10-year veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie. He led the Jets last season with 16 passes defensed and had 33 tackles. He is known as an athletic cover corner who is a serious ballhawk and often makes spectacular interceptions, but he is not known as a physical player who likes to hit or get hit. Cromartie has played for the Chargers, Cardinals and Jets since being drafted in the first round by San Diego in the 2006 Draft out of Florida State.

While Cromartie is seemingly the anti-Taylor Mays in his style of play, he is an excellent kickoff returner and averaged 25 yards per return last season. That would certainly add value to him for a team like the Raiders, which has had a revolving door at the return positions in the last few seasons.

It's clear that Cromartie isn't the player he once was, and struggled this past season against deep passes and with quick young wideouts, but his veteran presence and awareness can't be quantified. He won't command top dollar and could conceivably line up opposite David Amerson and allow TJ Carrie to fill a safety slot. Take Cro's 2015 numbers with a grain of salt- teams threw at him a lot because Darrelle Revis was on the other side.

One might look at a guy like Cromartie and think that there are better options, but let's be real here- guys like Josh Norman and Trumaine Johnson don't come along very often, if at all in free agency and break the bank when they do. Remember the dump truck full of cash Nnamdi Asomugha was given by the Eagles?

Cromartie wouldn't cost anywhere near what either of those guys would, and would need just enough to pay child support for his four hundred and seventy-three children. You know what you're getting with Cromartie, and the Raiders would still be free to go on their expected spending spree. They could still use their first round pick on a corner, as Cromartie isn't going to play forever. With Charles Woodson having ridden off into the sunset and a cushy job with ESPN, perhaps "Cro" can fill his veteran shoes.