Antonio Cromartie To the Detroit Lions? How This Move Could Affect the NFC North

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 22:  Corner back Antonio Cromartie #31 of the San Diego Chargers during the preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on August 22, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 17-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As far as divisional rivalries go, the NFC North pretty much has every base covered. Green Bay, Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit.

You can't exactly call them all powerhouse teams, but they put forward a more than convincing argument in terms of exciting games.

2009 saw some epic encounters, especially thanks to Brett Favre's role in a new and improved Minnesota Vikings outfit.  Packer fans were mad, Vikings fans were hopeful and Bears fans were left asking where they fit into this whole crazy controversy. 

But, what about the Detroit Lions? Once again the unloved team in the NFL, the merciless Lions were left out of the speculation talk in regards to the NFC North in 2010 and ultimately have been discounted from ever becoming a contender again in, well, ever.

Now though, things are looking a little different. NFL.com's Jason La Canfora reported today that the Detroit Lions have been undergoing discussion with Antonio Cromartie, who is now on the hunt for a new home as his original team the San Diego Chargers, are looking to cut ties.

"It may be time to move on," Cromartie said. "I have complained to the coaches about certain stuff, about the way we play, and they know that. But if it's time to part ways and that's in the Lord's will, then that's what's got to happen. But I would love to continue to finish out either my contract or my career in San Diego."

As willing as Cromarite is to resign with the Chargers should the opportunity arise, it doesn't appear that mutual feelings are being met on the other side of the plain. 

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Fortunately though for Cromartie, the Lions have shown interest. In what has been little over a week since the Chargers first announced Cromartie's new shift to free agency, little to no teams have been willing to so much as dip their feet in the water when it comes to considering the defensive back.

However, I still can't help but wonder what Antonio would do for the Lions, considering there is some obvious talent left in the tank.  More importantly though, what would Antonio do to put the Lions on the map in the NFC North?

Well realistically, not a whole lot. There are still many defensive issues that plague the former 0-16 team, who only managed to muster up two wins in 2009. With that said though, there is a cause for celebration should Cromartie sometime sign the papers and officially become a Detroit Lion.

One thing is for sure though, the annual Thanksgiving game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, would sure as heck become a lot more interesting if Antonio's presence was felt.

Pass savvy quarterbacks seem to be ever present in the NFC North.  Looking at them on paper, you've got Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and possibly Brett Favre. And defensively, well there is no real pressure on either of those three guys when the division foes meet up annually twice a year.

Fortunately for the Lions, this gives them a distinct advantage.  Maybe not one that puts them favorite to take the number one seed just yet, but it begins to equal them up with the Chicago Bears for the number three spot.

Whatever happens in the coming months is a mere estimate. My guess is as good as yours. When your sitting on your couch and you see the bold red headline appear that reads "Antonio Cromartie signs with Detroit", keep in mind the NFC North. I guarantee you it will become just that much hotter.

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