Former star cornerback and current reality-TV star Antonio Cromartie knows what the Ravens front office also does: that the team can no longer rely on the injured and suspended Jimmy Smith.
So on Monday afternoon, he figured, “Why not?” and fired off a short tweet.
Ravens safety Eric Weddle, who played with Cromartie on the San Diego Chargers in the late 2000s, offered something of an endorsement.
In Smith’s absence, the Ravens will promote cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste from the practice squad to fill his roster spot, which means you’ll probably only see Cromartie on USA over the next week, not NBC.
There’s a good explanation for that. Cromartie, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, is 33. He knelt during the national anthem last year, a protest he has said is “the reason” no NFL team has signed him since. In 2015, analytics website Pro Football Focus gave Cromartie a negative season grade and ranked him No. 103 overall among 118 cornerbacks. In Week 4 last season, his final game of the year and maybe his career, he gave up four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown and committed three penalties in coverage.
So, yes, Cromartie probably wants to sign with the Ravens. But the Ravens, like the rest of the NFL, would have reasons for not signing him.