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Friday, March 5, 2010
GM: Concern, confidence with Cromartie


New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum acknowledged cornerback Antonio Cromartie arrives from the San Diego Chargers with significant concerns, but felt "the risk was reasonable given the price we had to pay."

The Jets landed the former All-Pro and interceptions leader for a 2011 third-round draft choice that could turn into a second-rounder.

Cromartie was controversial in San Diego because he's not even 26 years old and has at least seven children in five states. He was the subject of an assault investigation, has missed court dates for traffic violations and was fined by the Chargers for disparaging tweets.

"We realize that for Antonio to be available, someone of his talent, at his age at his position, there were some inconsistencies that may have happened out there," Tannenbaum said on a conference call Friday afternoon. "San Diego, obviously, does a great job. Without those issues out there, he wouldn't have been available. So when we made the decision, we felt the risk was reasonable based on the fact that he has been productive and we're looking forward to him having a fresh start here with us.

"We're going to work with Antonio collaboratively to make sure we do everything organizationally to make sure he has the best opportunity be successful."

Tannenbaum said the Jets will continue to look for more help at cornerback because head coach Rex Ryan places such a premium at the position. The GM added that if not for the Cromartie trade the Jets would have been almost forced to draft a cornerback with their 29th pick.

They released Lito Sheppard on Thursday, avoiding a $10 million roster bonus.

Tannenbaum also announced the Jets have released running back Thomas Jones and cornerback Donald Strickland.