There were multiple reasons why the San Diego Chargers were so willing to deal away CB Antonio Cromartie to the New York Jets with most of them having to do with his off-the-field issues. The Jets tried to take care of some by giving him $500k up-front to help him clean up his paternity issues.
Because players don’t begin collecting on their salary until the first week of the regular season, Cromartie needed money now to make the payments he needs to make.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Cromartie spoke of how he had to clear up his paternity issues before he can report to the start of the offseason program on March 22.
“I have seven kids in five different states,” Cromartie said. “I made some wrong decisions my first two years in the NFL, and now I have to take that responsibility to be a father.
“I need to deal with my kids and child-support issues,” he added. “Those things are being taken care of. I’m going to be the best father to them that I can.”
Cromartie has a court date in California later this month.
“It won’t impact my focus on the field,” he said. “I can separate my personal life and off-field issues from football.”
The Jets had an amazing run last season, but one of their biggest strengths was their chemistry and they are playing with fire right now. First they bring in a guy like Cromartie that has a ton on his plate off-the-field. Then they release one of their locker room leaders in Thomas Jones.
I understand you have to watch your bottom line, but Jones had 1,400 yards last year all while owning the locker next to Mark Sanchez, helping the rookie get through an up-and-down season.