The Jets missed some opportunities and now they need Cromartie back.
The free-agent market is getting very thin at cornerback and the Jets have come up empty so far. Rex Ryan was extremely interested in having Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on his team, but that is no longer an option. Rodgers-Cromartie opted to sign with the other team at the Meadowlands, the New York Giants. This came on the heels of Darelle Revis signing with the Jets division rival the New England Patriots.
There is no argument that the Jets made the right move in releasing Antonio Cromartie, but at this point they need him back. Cromartie had previously said that he would be willing to play for a more reasonable contract. He also said that he wanted to continue to play for the Jets. Considering all of these factors, it is unbelievable that GM John Idzik has not yet locked up Cromartie.
Sources have said that the Jets are not even aggressively pursuing Cromartie at this point. Perhaps the thought is that Cromartie will be coming back and there are no other suitors. Considering the lack of name-brand options at cornerback, this strategy could come back to haunt Gang Green. Their other options in the secondary are mid level talents.
Dee Milliner could eventually develop into a top flight corner, but he is not there yet. Lining him up against the top receivers in the league could deal a blow to his confidence that he would not recover from. On the other hand, if the Jets were able to work a deal that brings Cromartie back into the fold, Milliner makes an enticing number two option in pass defense.
The word out of the Jets camp is that Rex Ryan is angry that the front office was unable to deliver him Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Most likely because Rex needs to make the playoffs at the very least if he wants to keep his job. Unfortunately his priorities are not aligned with Idzik's more long term strategy for the Jets' development. Things could get interesting if the Jets cannot bring in a proven commodity to shore up the secondary and aside from Cromartie, there is nobody left on the market who look like they can fill that role.
For more information on Antonio Cromartie's health status and outlook for the season, check this article out.