Jets CB Cromartie ‘definitely’ open to redoing deal to stay with Jets
Antonio Cromartie wants to stay right where he is.
For the rest of his career.
The cornerback will count nearly $15 million against the New York Jets’ salary cap next season, so it’s possible the team could be looking to cut Cromartie or have him rework his deal — something he’s willing to do.
"Definitely," Cromartie said Thursday. "This is where I want to be. My family loves it here. I think the biggest thing, for me, is just to make sure that going into this last game, I’m playing to the best of my ability.
At the end of the day, no matter what you do, your last name is your resume. That’s how I want to go about it. I’m here. My family wants to be here, and this is where I want to retire."
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes, whose contract carries a high cap number next season, also recently said he’d be open to reworking his deal.
Cromartie, signed through next year, has restructured his contract before. He agreed this past offseason to drop his base salary from $7 million to about $840,000 — with an $8.5 million signing bonus spread out over two years.
Under the current construction of the deal, the Jets could potentially save about $9.5 million on their cap number for next season if they cut him.
Cromartie, 29, is in his fourth year with the Jets after playing his first four NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He has assumed the role formerly held by Darrelle Revis as the team’s No. 1 cornerback, taking on opponents’ top receivers on a weekly basis.
But he also has been dealing with an ailing hip that has bothered him throughout the season. Cromartie has refused to use it as an excuse for a drop-off at times in his play, but acknowledged that it’s an issue he’ll deal with in the offseason.
Cromartie will see hip specialists to determine the cause of the problems and whether he’ll need surgery. He thinks the issues are related to the broken right hip he suffered — and played through — during the 2008 season while with the Chargers.
"Hopefully, there’s nothing too serious," Cromartie said. "Hopefully, I don’t need to have surgery. If I do, hopefully it’s just a cleanup job, easy to come back from."
Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman doesn’t think there’s been much difference in his performance from last season, when Cromartie was a Pro Bowl selection.
"He looks the same when he’s out there on Sunday to me," Thurman said.
Cromartie is hoping to end this season on a good note, even with coach Rex Ryan’s future uncertain. A win over the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday would end their AFC East rival’s postseason hopes. It also would help exact a bit of revenge on a team that thoroughly outplayed them 23-3 four weeks ago.
"This is our last game of the year," he said. "We want to make sure it’s their last game, too."
The Jets (7-8) have a chance to finish .500 after outside expectations were a lot lower, and the play of quarterback Geno Smith and the rest of the offense have improved in the three games since the teams’ last meeting.
"I felt like we were the better team then," Cromartie said. "Do I feel like we’re a better team now? Yeah. We’re running the ball better and we’re playing the pass a whole lot better. I think the biggest thing for us is to put it all together and win a game on the road."
NOTES: Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the Jets’ three-game skid earlier this season in which Smith and the offense struggled and were outscored 79-20: "That still bothers me. It’ll bother me `til I die." … S Ed Reed (day off), DB Ellis Lankster (jaw) and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (illness) didn’t practice. Holmes (foot/hamstring), LB Quinton Coples (shoulder) and DL Sheldon Richardson (finger/shoulder) joined Cromartie as limited, but all are expected to play. … Richardson tweeted he was fined $15,000 by the NFL for his hit last Sunday on Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell that drew a roughing the passer penalty. He’s appealing. … LB Calvin Pace, who has a career-high 10 sacks, on how much Ryan being retained would play a role in him returning to the Jets next season: "If they want me back, I’d definitely come back. If Rex hopefully is here, then there’s be a 1,000-percent chance that I’d definitely do that."