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NFL Rumors: Jets Free Agent Priorities

Yesterday NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi reported that the New York Jets appear to ready to let Antonio Cromartie go and use their money to address other team needs. Shortly after Lombardi’s report Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News offered a conflicting report of his own.

In attempt to provide some clarity regarding the Jets offseason priorities the New York Daily News decided to discuss topic greater depth this morning.

Several media outlets have WR Santonio Holmes as the teams top priority now that they have franchised LB David Harris. Holmes’s reputation for making big plays and the fact that he is a solid possession receiver makes him really valuable to both Mark Sanchez and the team in general.

Others have reported that the team would also like to retain both Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith but the likelihood of that idea seems like it’s more of long shot than anything.

Antonio Cromartie’s 2010 season had its up’s and down’s but despite some of the off-the-field distractions that he created GM Mike Tannenbaum wasn’t willing to close the door on him just yet.

“By in large he had a good year for us on the field,” Tannenbaum said. “It wasn’t perfect, but he did everything we asked of him and he got better. Based on his entire body of work he is a guy we’d like to keep.”

Having Cromartie gave the Jets the ability to move players in their secondary around which allowed them to more favorable matchups than they would otherwise have had. You could make the case that signing Cromartie could end up being a bad investment but it’s worth noting that Cromartie was the most productive cornerback for the Jets this season in terms of statistical categories.

It will be interesting to see what the Jets end up doing but I’d expect to see them let one of their wide-receivers go.