2015 NFL Free Agency Preview: Top 5 Cornerbacks
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) looks on before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
3. Antonio Cromartie
Pros: Cromartie is a seasoned veteran cornerback who has been at times in his career been considered one of the better players at his position: he was a first team All-Pro in 2007. Cromartie has great size for the position, at 6’2″ and over 200 pounds with a long frame. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season for the Cardinals, and has been to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons. He is a true cover corner who has the speed, size, skills and experience to be a team’s number one.
Cons: Cromartie is a bit long in the tooth, and will turn 31 next month. Despite making three consecutive Pro Bowls, he’s past his physical prime and may begin to decline soon, perhaps necessitating a move to safety. He’s a “boom or bust” corner who plays aggressively and takes chances, which sometimes leads to mistakes and blown coverage.
Scheme Fit: with his size and cover skills he’s the perfect fit for any defense. While he’s not an elite press corner he can play capably in a press bail zone or play in man to man, though he’s best playing off-man or zone. He’ll be an asset in any scheme, however, and he’ll do well for Del Rio’s scheme.
Market Value: Cromartie has been one of the better corners in the league over the past almost decade, but he’s also on the wrong side of 30. He likely can get paid well on a short deal somewhere, though. Look for him to find a home on a three year deal for roughly $25M.
Would he sign with the Raiders: Yes. Cromartie will go anywhere he’s wanted if the money is right, and if Reggie McKenzie pursues him with some of that massive cap space, he can probably be convinced. With lots of young talent on the roster at corner, an elder statesman like Cromartie might be the perfect fit for the Raiders over the next two or three years.
Next: 2015 FA Preview: CB #4, Tramon Williams