It's all good and well that the Jets sold out every home game last year, Antonio Cromartie, but are you really willing to see what happens if you keep going 8-8 while that other New York team parades around with Lombardi trophies?
After Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos, thereby rendering Tim Tebow homeless, the Jets reportedly expressed interest in the quarterback and incited the fury of their most outspoken defensive back.
Cromartie wrote on his Twitter page:
We don't need Tebow. We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami. Our wildcat offense can b ran by J. Kerley or Joe McKnight we straight
This sets up a great team camaraderie situation in the event that the Jets do end up with Tebow. In fact, the only way this won't be awkward is if New York sends Cromartie to Denver as part of the trade package, which is unlikely, as the cornerback was one of the bright spots of a defense that struggled monumentally in 2011.
New York traded for Cromartie prior to the 2010 season, then signed him to a four-year, $32 million extension in August. After the extension, he had his best season since his All-Pro 2007 year with San Diego, registering four interceptions, 12 passes defensed and one forced fumble.
After he struggled with inconsistencies for most of his career, the coaching staff said Cromartie was the best they've seen him at the tail end of the 2011 season.
"He decided he was going to be a great player, and I think that's what it is, because he's got as much God-given ability as any corner I've ever been around," Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas in December. "When he's playing at a high level, our defense plays at a high level."
The only problem is that the Jets need their offense to play at a high level, too—and last year, with Sanchez at the forefront, that level wasn't high enough.
As the Jets struggled to keep up with the Patriots in the AFC East, Sanchez struggled to live up to a 2010 season in which he went 11-5, leading New York to a playoff berth and an electrifying win over New England that carried the team to the AFC championship.
In 2011, Sanchez went 8-8 with a career-high 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Though the Jets looked good on paper before the season began, and though Ryan continued to tell anyone who would listen that they'd give Tom Brady & Co. a run for their money, they didn't, finishing second in the division. Their defense allowed 363 points, 20th in the league, and the Jets finished off the season with three straight losses—including one to the Dolphins that eliminated them from playoff contention.
In that game, Sanchez threw three interceptions, the last of which came as the Jets threatened to take a late-game lead.
It's clear that the Jets need something to change in 2012, and despite Cromartie's wishes, that change could come with a new quarterback. So for now, the corner better lay off the tweeting and get used to the possibility.
Sellouts are nice, but postseason berths are just a little bit better.