NFL AM: Jets Release Antonio Cromartie


Jets release Antonio Cromartie:

Less than a year after signing a four-year, 32-million-dollar deal to return to the New York Jets, Antonio Cromartie finds himself back on the free agent market as the team cut him on Monday, saving eight million dollars against the 2016 cap.

Cromartie who reportedly is open to returning to the Jets at a more team friendly number, took to Instagram to thank his teammates and the organization.

“I would like to thank the Jets Organization for bringing me back this past season,” Cromartie wrote on Instagram. “I had a lot of fun and I know my first half of the season didn’t go well and I thank you guys for pushing and believing in me to keep me on the field so I could finish strong. Today is a sad day for me not because of my release but the guys I became really close in our DB room.

“To Jets Nation the most important people that make Sunday’s so fun thank you for welcoming me back. You guys are the best fans ever and thank you for sticking next to me through my tough times last season you rock. Keep the excitement in the stands because Coach Bowles will have the guys right this upcoming season.”

The move to cut the veteran cornerback wasn’t unexpected, as Cromartie’s play took a dip last season, after years of consistent play. Despite starting 15 of the Jets 16 games, he failed to record an interception for the first time since his rookie season in 2006. After following his 10 interception sophomore year with just two picks in 2008, the former Chargers draft pick had at least three interceptions in every year since until failing to take one away this season.

Cromartie is 31 and coming off of a down year, but there will be plenty of teams interested in his services. While nobody would want to pay the veteran corner eight million dollars this year (the amount the Jets save by cutting him), he’s the kind of big, physical cornerback many teams are looking for right now.

While teams can’t count on Cromartie being the player he was in his prime, they know they can count on him being on the field because he’s missed just two games in his 10-year career.

Cromartie could make sense all over the place considering there isn’t a team in football that couldn’t use some depth at the position. Whether it’s a Jets division rival like the New England Patriots or Buffalo Bills, or it’s across town with his cousin Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, you can make an argument that the newly-released cornerback would be a good fit in quite a few locations.

Eagles re-sign Malcolm Jenkins:

A new head coach almost always means a new direction, but it doesn’t always mean the roster needs to be blown up. Clearly that’s the thinking in Philadelphia, where safety Malcolm Jenkins joined Zach Ertz, Vinny Curry and Lane Johnson who all recently signed new deals with the team.

While the veteran safety won’t have the luxury of knowing what to expect from new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, it was a combination of how comfortable he’s been in Philly and the addition of his new defensive coordinator that makes Jenkins excited to be remaining with the Eagles past this season, which was the last on his contract before the extension.

“I expressed to my agent I want to be here for a long time,” Jenkins said at his news conference Monday. “They took it from there. I think the Eagles did a good job of obviously expressing that I was definitely in the plans.

“Being here the last two seasons, I’ve been able to play in systems that complement my skill set really well and it’s led to higher production, it’s led to better seasons,” Jenkins said. “But also being put in position where I’ve kind of been pushed to the forefront to be a leader.”

While Jenkins has been a leader and performed well in Philadelphia, the veteran safety is clearly excited to see what Schwartz will do for his career and the Eagles defense.

“Since I’ve been in the league I’ve played under probably four or five D-coordinators . . . and they’re all different schools of thought,” Jenkins explained. “I think obviously there’s going to be some change and a little bit of a different role being in a different scheme, but I know for a fact Jim is one of those people that knows how to mold his defense to what his players do best.”

The Eagles have a long way to go to be a good defense, let alone a dominant one, but if you ask Jenkins, he clearly believes the team is on its way.

“I think we have the players in the building already to really be a dominant defense,” said the former first-round pick. “For the most part, I think we have what we need and I think when you add a coach like Jim Schwartz and his defense … I think that will take us to the next level.”

While Jenkins may be a tad optimistic about where the Eagles are as a defense, they’re in better shape knowing he’ll be part of that defense for years to come. He’s the kind of heady player that teams need, and he’s a guy who will make the play when put in position. While he won’t come at the kind of bargain he came in at when originally signing with the team two years ago, the Eagles are happy to give him a bump in pay because he’s worked out about as well as the team could have hoped when they signed him away from the New Orleans Saints.

Joseph Randle arrested for hitting people with his car:

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle clearly wanted to be sure there was no question about whether or not he’d ever receive another opportunity to play NFL football again, because he promised himself no future chances Monday when he was arrested yet again.

This time the gambling shoplifter upped his game by moving on from being an idiot and jumping right into the arena of violent crime. On Monday, Randle confirmed that he’s not just stupid, but he’s got some serious issues.

The former running back turned knucklehead was jailed Monday on $100,000 dollar bond on suspicion of aggravated battery, drug possession and criminal damage of property after a bizarre set of circumstances in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

Police Lt. James Espinoza says Randle was asked to leave a housewarming party Sunday morning after getting into an argument. On his way out, the former Cowboys back decided to back his car into three of the party-goers while backing out of the driveway before returning to the home and kicking in the door moments later.

These are clearly the actions of someone with some serious anger control issues, and the issue has moved past how to get Randle back into the NFL, to how to get him to stop acting like an idiot. From stealing underwear and cologne, to gambling, to this latest sign of brilliance, Randle has unfortunately become the latest example of why being intelligent and having your crap together goes hand in hand with having elite talent.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.