The biggest deal of the night — thus far — came via trade when the Jets sent a 2011 third-round pick to the Chargers for cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie, who has been the subject of trade rumors for the last couple of weeks, will fit nicely with the Jets. Despite the knock on his lack of physical play at the point of attack in the run game, Rex Ryan gets another weapon to work with, and more importantly, another corner that can play press coverage at the line of scrimmage.
Pairing Cromartie with Darrelle Revis in New York allows this team to be even more creative on defense. We know that Ryan teaches pressure and goes into Sundays with a game plan sheet that is littered with multiple blitz packages. In 2010, expect those packages to become even more exotic and for Ryan to take even more chances.
Why not? He now has two man corners that can run with wideouts in this league.
This isn’t a Tampa 2 defense or a team that plays Quarters. The Jets need corners that can align at 7-yards off of a WR, walk up at the snap and run with wideouts from that press alignment. Plus, when Revis and Cromartie play from an off-position, it gives Ryan two corners that can sit and jump routes — which produces turnovers.
It’s a perfect fit for the scheme we see on Sundays from the Jets. Cromartie has seen a dropoff in terms of INTs, going from 10 in 2007 to five total over the last two seasons, but if you are the Jets, you see that number going back up in your scheme — because he will have more opportunities under Ryan. The pressure he will get from the front when the Jets send six — and even seven — man blitzes will force the ball to come out quickly.
He is a risk taker, and when you play this style of defense, the more you can get, the more production you will see.
Yes, the Chargers — by settling for a future draft pick — look like they were just trying to get Cromartie out of town, but I still like the Jets in this one. Corners that can play man coverage at this level are hard to find, and when you can add one to a system that already preaches turnovers and an aggressive style, you make that move.
The Chargers get something in return for a player they wanted to move, but the Jets get a player that comes in and contributes and looks to fit the mold of what Ryan wants in his defensive backs — guys who can make plays on the football.
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