Tell me if you have heard this one before; the Oakland Raiders are in desperate need of a cornerback that can actually cover a receiver. Their need just became more pressing with 1st round pick Gareon Conley placed on Injured Reserve. Conley was only able to suit up for 2 games before having to be shut down for the year.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur tweeted about the situation and was promptly replied to by free agent CB Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie just turned 33 years old on April 15th. His last season was 2016 with the Colts where he appeared in only 4 games before calling it a career. Prior to 2016 Cromartie was still a very serviceable cornerback, making the Pro Bowl three straight times from 2012 to 2014 with the Jets and Cardinals.
In 2015 Cromartie played in 15 games and was able to put up 12 passes defensed but was ranked just 103rd among 118 CB’s by PFF. This led to Cromartie being cut from the Jets in the off-season. His last 2 seasons seemed to indicate he was done but there are varying circumstances that could have caused this.
Even at 33 he still might be an improvement over the Raiders current cornerbacks. The Raiders CB’s including David Amerson, TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald have been historically awful allowing a QB rating of 110.5. They have allowed a 71.2% completion rate and 1,175 yards on the season after only 9 games while recording an NFL record 0 interceptions through 9 games.
Cromartie may very well be done and have nothing to offer but the Raiders are in a position where they should be looking at even the water boy if he wants a shot. Three of their top four corners are currently ranked by PFF dead last in the league, while giving up a 56.3% conversion rate on 3rd and 4th down.
The fact is the Raiders can’t get worse so they should be looking at any and all CB’s that might be able to help. That includes Antonio Cromartie.