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Jets acquire CB Cromartie

He’ll team with Revis after trade from SD

Associated Press / March 5, 2010

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The New York Jets reached an agreement in principle late last night with the San Diego Chargers to acquire cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

The Jets confirmed the deal, but didn’t release specifics - although it is believed to include a draft pick in 2011 going to the Chargers.

Cromartie was an All-Pro in 2007 and will team with Darrelle Revis in the Jets’ secondary, making them possibly the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Cromartie replaces Lito Sheppard, who was released earlier in the day after one disappointing season with the Jets.

Despite 15 interceptions in four seasons, the Chargers were dissatisfied with Cromartie’s performance late last season and in the playoffs. General manager A.J. Smith made it clear he would try to trade him.

Earlier in the day, the Chargers made two surprise moves, deciding to keep speedy running back Darren Sproles and releasing veteran defensive tackle Jamal Williams.

The Chargers placed the maximum first- and third-round tender on Sproles, offering him a contract of $7,283,000 for next season. If Sproles signs an offer sheet with another team, San Diego would have the right to match the offer or receive first- and third-round draft picks as compensation.

The Chargers also made first-and third-round tenders to outside linebacker Shawne Merriman ($3,269,000), left tackle Marcus McNeill ($3,168,000), and wide receivers Malcom Floyd ($3,168,000) and Vincent Jackson ($3,268,000).

Panthers cut Delhomme
The Carolina Panthers cut Jake Delhomme, just over a year after they gave him a lucrative contract extension only to watch him have his worst season as a pro.

Agent Rick Smith confirmed the move late last night. It signals the Panthers intend to go with Matt Moore or someone new at quarterback for the first time since Delhomme burst onto the scene in 2003 and led Carolina to the Super Bowl.

After committing six turnovers in a playoff loss to end the 2008 season, Delhomme had 18 interceptions last year before being sidelined for the final five games with a broken finger on his throwing hand.

The Panthers still owe the 35-year-old Delhomme about $12.5 million in guaranteed money.

Carolina also released veteran defensive tackle Damione Lewis.

Edwards gets offer
The Jets placed a first- and third-round tender on wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and tendered seven other restricted free agents.

Edwards, acquired from Cleveland in a trade last October, had 35 catches for 541 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season for New York.

Running back-kick returner Leon Washington and wide receiver Brad Smith received second-round tenders, although both were fourth-round draft picks.

Redskins clean house
Guard Randy Thomas, receiver Antwaan Randle El, and kick returner Rock Cartwright were among 10 players cut by the Redskins on the eve of free agency. Cornerback Fred Smoot, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, running back Ladell Betts, and backup quarterback Todd Collins of Walpole were also released as the team cleared salary cap space in the first major moves under the new brain trust of general manager Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan. The Redskins also tendered several players, making them restricted free agents. Quarterback Jason Campbell and cornerback Carlos Rogers both were given first-round tenders, severely limiting their chances of being courted by other teams . . . The Bengals released wide receiver Laveranues Coles exactly one year after he signed a four-year deal to replace T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Cincinnati moved quickly after Houshmandzadeh left for Seattle, eagerly pursuing Coles. But the 32-year-old Coles had only 43 catches for 514 yards last season, when the Bengals’ passing game was a big disappointment . . . The Arizona Cardinals released starting safety Antrel Rolle in a move that had been expected because the team wanted to avoid paying him the $4 million roster bonus and $8 million salary he is due . . . The Chiefs agreed to a contract extension with inebacker Mike Vrabel, who was acquired from the Patriots prior to last season. No details were released on the deal. The 13-year veteran started 14 games for Kansas City in 2009, with 65 tackles and two sacks.

Cowboys tender Austin
The Cowboys gave restricted free agent Miles Austin a first- and third-round tender. The move, which was expected, likely means Austin will return to Dallas next season. He’s essentially been offered a one-year deal for $3.168 million, but owner Jerry Jones has said he’ll consider giving Austin a longer, more lucrative contract . . . Coveted free agent defensive end Julius Peppers will visit the Bears today, the NFL Network reported . . . Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels formally announced his retirement, revealing he played his entire career knowing he had a spinal condition that put him at risk of paralysis with every blow to the head . . . The Texans tendered offers to seven restricted free agents, including Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and tight end Owen Daniels . . . The Giants tendered one-year contracts to nine restricted free agents, among them defensive lineman Barry Cofield and receivers Domenik Hixon and Sinorice Moss . . . Cornerback Marlin Jackson, the Colts’ first-round pick in 2005, was not offered a tender. He finished the last two seasons on injured reserve, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in early November and the ACL in his right knee in 2008 . . . The 49ers re-signed linebacker Matt Wilhelm to a one-year contract, keeping him from becoming an unrestricted free agent . . . Saints GM Mickey Loomis said Charles Grant, a starting defensive end, will be released . . . A third witness in the trial of a man accused of killing Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007 has been jailed for refusing to testify. The Denver Post reported on its website that the witness was ordered to jail by District Judge Christina Habas. The man said he feared for his life if reporters named him, and wouldn’t testify even after media outlets agreed to identify him by only a first name.

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