Antonio Cromartie was on NBC Sports with Erik Kuselias for Pro Football Talk and he openly discussed that he anticipates the Jets will release him because of his high salary-cap number for the 2014 season. Cromartie also confirmed what many who watched him closely suspected; that the eight year veteran played hurt most of the season and it impacted his play on the field.
“I was banged up,” Cromartie explained. “You know, I got hurt in Week Two, but that’s not an excuse. 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.”
Cromartie was frank in his self-assessment of his play in 2013 along with his contract status in 2014.
“I think I am [a potential cap casualty], just because my cap number is very high and I had one of the worst seasons of my career this past year.”
Cromartie has made it no mystery that he wants to retire as a Jet, but his cap number of $14.9 million is too big and unable to be restructured as it was last offseason. A March 13 bonus of $5 million means that Cromartie's cutting will happen prior to that date.
Even by cutting Cromartie, the Jets will eat $5 million in dead money, but will realize $9.5 million in savings which could then be re-applied to Cromartie at a more palatable deal. Cromartie will likely test the market to see if he is getting a fair deal from the Jets, but a fair deal will likely rely on how much demand there is for cornerbacks in free agency. See our workups on what sort of contract Cromartie might end up signing to remain on the Jets.