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Why Cromartie is worth the gamble

The New York Jets' acquisition of vexing cornerback Antonio Cromartie has stirred debate over whether he'll be worth the trouble.

Cromartie was an All-Pro and led the league in interceptions in his second season. Since then, his career and personal life have been ruled by turbulence.

His performances have been erratic, and when a so-called shutdown corner is getting burned by receivers and not collecting interceptions, his reluctance to tackle becomes more noticeable.

I reached out to Scouts Inc. analyst Matt Williamson to find out what he thinks of the trade from an X's and O's standpoint under head coach Rex Ryan and how Cromartie complements Darrelle Revis, the Jets' All-Pro cornerback.

"Very worth the risk," Williamson said before listing the pluses and minuses.

"First, my concerns: Cromartie isn't nearly as physical as Revis and from that perspective, doesn't fit Rex Ryan's [model] persona. Cromartie plays the run very softly. He also has been exposed over and over against double moves because he is too aggressive in coverage and is always going for the big play. But that also was a function of the Chargers' lack of a pass rush, which I don't see being a problem in New York.

"The pros are huge though and he has as much upside as any player at his position in the league. And it is a tremendous situation for him, as Revis will still do battle with No. 1 wide receivers, and Cromartie will be able to get safety support over the top, which may allow for him to be his aggressive self. Plus, Cromartie is able to really excel in man-to-man coverage, which fits Ryan's scheme very well.

"The tackling or 'want-to' issue needs corrected, but Ryan might be just the guy for such a thing. That environment might bring out Cromartie's potential greatness. He is incredibly gifted, and I absolutely loved him two years ago."