Detroit Lions Looking Toward Antonio Cromartie

Michael SchotteyNFL National Lead WriterFebruary 28, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Cornerback Antonio Cromartie #31 of the San Diego Chargers reacts to a play during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

While sitting here at the NFL Scouting Combine can be a long and arduous process, it allows a writer to get more out of a beat reporter than what he gives to sites like Rotoworld or PFT.

When news broke that Kevin Acee was reporting interest between the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers involving Antonio Cromartie, Tom Kowalski immediately began looking around for Acee.

I found him standing in the middle of a Mike Mayock press conference and was able to strain some information about him.

Acee has talked with people inside of the San Diego Chargers organization who believe the Chargers are looking to get rid of Cromartie sooner rather than later.

Cromartie was put on notice last year to either play better or hit the road. Cromartie responded with a disappointing season as well as two more illegitimate children.

The Lions are rumored to be offering a mid to late round pick for Cromartie—very possibly the fifth round pick received from Denver last April. That pick was used to select Tom Brandstater and could be used this year for a cornerback such as Trevard Lindley (Kentucky) .

For his part, Cromartie has always been a square peg in the round hole which is the San Diego defense. The Chargers employ a zone heavy scheme and Cromartie just isn't a good enough tackler to be a decent fit.

However, Cromartie is strong and fantastic in press coverage—something which fits the Lions scheme very well.

If the deal is completed, it effects the Lions draft strategy. Cromartie is definitely worth a look as a number one corner and Buchanon can play number two while Will James and Eric King fight for subpackage snaps.

It remains to be seen how Cromartie's off-the-field problems fit in with the Lions commitment to character. But, fifth round picks are cut from teams all the time. In a worst case scenario, if Cromartie's antics wear thin, he will be a free agent in 2011.

 

Michael Schottey is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and Detroit Lions Team Correspondent for DraftTek.com. He is LIVE from Indianapolis this week with NFL Combine updates. Follow him at Twitter .