Some could argue that listing Antonio Cromartie among the most overrated Jets is only justifiable because of his cross-field counterpart. It is easy for onlookers to notice your deficiencies as a football player when the teammate filling the same position on the other hash mark is one of the best the game has ever seen.
My motivation for listing Cromartie here is similar to many others on this list, all in severe debt to the proverbial checks his mouth wrote in the weeks leading up to the 2011 season.
As a quick lesson in contemporary Jets history, Cromartie was brought back into the Jets fold from free-agent purgatory simply as the best second option available after prized free agent Nnamdi Asomugha opted to fly east to Philadelphia.
Almost immediately after signing his second contract as a New York Jet, Cromartie vowed to play this season with a renewed attitude and a chip on his shoulder that would return him to elite status among cornerbacks in the league.
What Cromartie, the 2011 Jets, and many other media-starved professional athletes never seem to understand, is that the bar for expectation raises drastically when an athlete goes out of their way to guarantee greatness. Cromartie’s play following that declaration of dominance failed miserably to live up to these expectations.
Although he managed to swipe four interceptions away from opposing quarterbacks this season, second-best to his amazing 10-interception tally in 2007, Cromartie was regularly targeted and was often badly out of position.
When he did use proper technique, leverage and body control, Cromartie still failed to capitalize on several potential game-changing interceptions throughout the year, dropping many more than he caught.
If his play in 2011 is an example of how he performs with a chip on his shoulder, I shudder to think what it will look like when he takes a play off.