TEMPE, Ariz. – Cornerback Antonio Cromartie wants to be an Arizona Cardinal next season, but he knows he can only control whether that happens up to a point.
After the season ends, whether that’s Saturday night or Feb. 2, Cromartie said he’ll review his season and determine his value “compared to younger guys that are in the league right now.”
“I would definitely like to return,” he said. “But at the end of the day, that’s not my decision. The only thing I can control is what I can do on the football field and that’s it.
“I have to let my playing and my film talk for itself. That’s the only thing I can do. If I’m here, it’s a blessing. If I’m not, God has another door to open up for me.”
Cromartie, who will turn 31 in April, earned $3.5 million this season, tied for 36th among cornerbacks, on his one-year deal. In 2013 with the New York Jets, Cromartie’s $9.5 million was fifth-highest for a corner.
According to Pro Football Focus and ESPN Stats & Information, there are 12 cornerbacks who are younger and made as much or more than Cromartie this season and are ranked ahead him in PFF’s final regular-season cornerback rankings. That group includes Cleveland’s Joe Haden, Seattle’s Richard Sherman, New England’s Darrelle Revis and Denver’s Aqib Talib.
Of the nine corners age 30 or older who earned more than Cromartie this year, four are ranked higher than him, according to PFF.
Cromartie finished the season with 48 tackles, second-most in his career, and three interceptions for the third straight year. He was ranked as high as fourth this season by PFF and spent Weeks 9-12 ranked among the top seven cornerbacks, but he finished the season at 45th.
Cromartie is scheduled to be the third-highest-paid and the eight-oldest free agent cornerback. Of the corners younger than Cromartie who make as much or more than him, only one -- Revis -- will be a free agent this offseason.
If he’s not re-signed by Arizona, Cromartie could find himself in a niche position come March: a veteran corner who can still put up numbers. But he might be too old and make too much for teams to pay more than he made this season.
“Honestly, I’m not even worried about it,” he said. “I can’t. But that’s not even my focal point. My focal point is playing against Carolina and see what happens from there.
“I’m not worried about anything about what will happen or what’s going on next season or anything else.”