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Wednesday, August 1, 2012
If Cromartie is right, Jets are in trouble

By James Walker

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie says he's the second-best receiver on the team after Santonio Holmes.

Is that a good thing for New York? Not at all.

The Jets' competition at receiver is wide open. Holmes is the clear No. 1. But rookie Stephen Hill, second-year player Jeremy Kerley and free-agent pickup Chaz Schilens are among those fighting to get in the starting lineup.

Cromartie says he can beat all of these receivers at their own game. I'd have to see it to believe it.

This isn't high school or college. There are very few players capable anymore of playing both ways in the NFL on a semi full-time basis. Even if Cromartie is one of them, it will be limited. The risk of injury is too high. He's being paid a lot of money to be a shutdown corner with teammate Darrelle Revis. That should be Cromartie's focus. The Jets also let him return some kicks last year.

Getting too many reps on offense would hurt Cromartie's bread and butter. Yes, he's one of the Jets' best pure athletes. So gimmick plays on offense are fine with Cromartie in moderation.

But if Cromartie is really the Jets' second-best receiver and they need a big role for him in the offense, New York's passing game is going nowhere fast.