A league average cornerback from 2009-2011, Cromartie had a dominant 2012 campaign, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 16th ranked overall cornerback and 5th ranked cornerback in pure coverage grade, allowing just 46.0% completion, 5th lowest in the NFL. That was a big part of the reason why the Jets felt comfortable moving on from Darrelle Revis. Cromartie looked like a mini-Revis. However, Cromartie was awful in 2013, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 8th worst cornerback, 2nd worst in terms of coverage grade. He was torched with regularity, allowing 19.1 yards per completion, 2nd highest in the NFL. That led to his release from the Jets, which saved them 9.5 million on the cap.
The Cardinals are taking a flier on Cromartie here with a one-year prove it deal worth 3.25 million dollars. It’s possible his rapid decline last season was largely due to a hip injury and if he’s healthy in 2014, he could be a lot better. He’s only going into his age 30 season. It’s a worthwhile gamble for a Cardinals team that had issues at cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson last season, one of their few holes on an overall strong defense. He’ll compete with Antoine Cason for the starting job and could make Cason a cap casualty eventually. If it doesn’t work out, it’s just a one year deal.