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Last time I checked, the New England Patriots are still in the AFC East, and that means twice a season the New York Jets must face Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Gronkowski was hands down the best tight end in the NFL last season and a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He exposed the Jets in both games they played in 2011 because they could not cover Gronkowski with a safety, corner or linebacker.
Cromartie might not be able to shut down Gronkowski for an entire game, but he would be able to challenge Gronkowski over the top.
The Jets were not only exposed by Gronkowski, but many other tight ends had great games against the Jets defense in 2011. Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles), Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys), Fred Davis (Washington Redskins) and Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) are all tight ends who put up big numbers against the Jets last season.
Cromartie playing safety would make it way more difficult for opposing quarterbacks to target the center of the field against the Jets
Many would argue that Cromartie can't cover Gronkowski, but could he do much worse than any combination of Donald Strickland and Jim Leonhard? Nothing against those guys as NFL players, but they are too small to cover tight ends consistently.