Antonio Cromartie is new to the Arizona Cardinals, signing a one-year deal with the team looking to rehabilitate his value and resuscitate his career.
A three time Pro Bowler, he has to do so because of what most considered to be a down 2013 season in New York with the Jets.
Cromartie spent the last four seasons of his career in the Big Apple, where he made two Pro Bowls while having his ups and downs.
But is bringing him in a good move for the Cardinals?
“I think it’s a good deal for the Cardinals because I think there is some upside there,” ESPN’s New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday.
Cimini said even Cromartie admitted last season was not a good one, but many attribute that to a hip injury he battled through the majority of the season.
“But I will give him credit: he played in every game, he hardly ever came off the field,” Cimini added. “He’s a very durable player. He easily could have just sat down for a couple of weeks knowing that he’d probably be a free agent, so by playing it probably hurt his status on the open market.
“If that hip is healthy, and he says he is, he’s a pretty good corner.”
A former first-round pick out of Florida State, Cromartie has 28 career interceptions. In Arizona, he’ll be expected to be the number-two cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson, meaning he’s likely to see more passes come his way but not have the task of defending the opponent’s best receiver.
That’s a role Cimini said probably suits the 29-year-old better than what he had to do the last couple years in New York, when he was the team’s number-one cornerback.
“I don’t think Cromartie likes being the guy,” Cimini said, pointing back to when Cromartie formed an effective duo with Darrelle Revis with the Jets. “They were a really good tandem together and Revis was the number-one guy. I think Cromartie kind of liked being in the shadows a little bit, he had the number-two receiver each week.
“And last year he just didn’t play that great. But now with Peterson there, clearly Peterson’s the number-one guy and I do think that will be a factor and I do think that will play to Cromartie’s strengths.”