By Steve Corkran
Sunday, July 31st, 2011 at 11:48 am in Oakland Raiders.
NFL.com is reporting that the Raiders and New York Jets are in hot pursuit of free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
A Raiders front-office person admitted that the Raiders have a burning need for a veteran cornerback who can step right in and replace departed Pro Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha. At the same time, he said, the Raiders aren’t going to break the bank for Cromartie.
Also, the Raiders have invested quite a bit in finding a replacement for Asomugha the past two years. They selected Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke in the past two NFL drafts in hopes one of them emerges as a viable candidate.
For now, the Raiders are looking at veteran Chris Johnson opposite Stanford Routt. There’s also the possibility of free safety Michael Huff making the conversion after spending his first five NFL seasons at safety.
There are those with the Raiders who are confident Huff could make a seamless transition to cornerback. Huff has played the position at times in recent seasons but only in certain situations and for a down here and there.
Cromartie teamed with Darrelle Revis last year to give the Jets, perhaps, the most imposing cornerback tandem in the league. He certainly wouldn’t mind returning to the Jets but only if the price is right. He said he won’t give the Jets a hometown discount.
Once the Raiders wrap up restructuring the contract of linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, they would be in position to throw some real money at Cromartie.