As SB Nation covered earlier, there has been rumors flying about the Jets deciding to allow cornerback Antonio Cromartie leave via free agency. Despite my peers over at Gang Green Nation signing off on the decision in the linked article, I am going to have to disagree with this approach.
Since the Jets have already taken care of David Harris, the next priority should be Santonio Holmes but after that Cromartie should come before Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, or anybody else. I am aware of how well Edwards played last season but this isn't a question of Edwards or Cromartie's performance.
The Jets can survive with Jerricho Cotchery starting opposite Holmes and Dustin Keller taking on a bigger role in the passing game. However, on defense Kyle Wilson is nowhere near ready to step into a full time starting role opposite Darrelle Revis. The Jets play an aggressive, man to man approach which fits Cromartie's skill set well and helps compensate for their lack of a big time pass rusher.
It is too dangerous for the Jets to maintain their aggressive approach on defense while leaving Kyle Wilson and Drew Coleman consistently on an island as the number two and number three cornerback. The Jets are a run heavy team, which is why it makes even less sense to worry about bringing three receivers back before bringing one corner back. Have you ever heard Rex Ryan talk about his love for defensive backs? Unless the Jets are shifting their philosophy as a football team, I would expect them to find a way to bring Antonio Cromartie back, unless they have secretly talked Nnamdi Asomugha into taking a big pay cut to join the team. Has anybody checked out Roscoe's Diner lately?