"I mean I already know Wades Defense."
That tweet immediately summoned several questions for me. Could it be that a premiere, veteran cornerback wants to come to Houston? Has Andre Johnson kidnapped Rick Smith and taken over as the Houston Texans GM? How well does Cromartie know Wade's defense? How does Bob McNair feel about Andre spending his money? When Cromartie said "Wades Defense," was he referring to Wade Phillips' 3-4 or Dwyane Wade's one-on-one skills? Take the jump and we'll try to find some answers.
Since Cromartie was previously tweeting about last night's NBA Finals, I wanted to make sure he was talking about Wade Phillips and not Dwyane Wade, so I delved into today's earlier tweets from @johnson80 and @A_Cromartie31. Apparently, Andre was ribbing @ochocinco about coming to play for the Texans: "u no what I have a better idea. Come play with me in Texas then we can fight everyday. Lol".
Well, I'm not sure if that was ribbing or Andre seriously making another run at McNair's checkbook. Either way, once @A-Cromartie said he liked the idea, fans suggested that both Ochocinco and Cromartie sign with the Texans and Andre tweeted: "yeah man u can come to texas to. Lol". Cromartie replied: "yeah I like it too. Then I can shutdown both of you guys in Practice lol...jus playing." For what it's worth, Glover Quin also weighed in on the idea: "come on so we can win this super bowl and celebrate... that feeling look special last night". For the record, I think Houston celebrating a Super Bowl victory would eclipse Dallas celebrating its much-deserved NBA championship. I'm not knocking Dallas, it's just apples and oranges.
My delving into the world of Twitter revealed a few important facts. First, I'm old and very un-twitter savvy, so I apologize for any misreading here. Second, NFL players are more bored than us fans and have apparently mastered the art of the tweet to a level few others would even dare aspire. Third, Ochocinco must've given up on soccer like he did the Bengals. (Who can blame him?) Most importantly, though, Cromartie was definitely talking about Wade Phillips' defense, not the immature, cough-impersonating guard from the Heat. And since Cromartie busted out the seldom-used-in-Twitter upper case letters, it's obvious he has a lot of respect for Wade's Defense.
But along with these facts, I discovered even more questions. Since Cromartie only played sparingly for one season while Phillips was the DC at San Diego, how well does he know the defense? I wouldn't think one season over five years ago that happened to be Cromartie's rookie year would give him keen understanding of Wade's Defense (especially considering he didn't start in 2006). Also, would the Houston Texans sign a guy with so many paternal issues? Maybe they would see the fact that he has nine kids from eight different women in six states as proof of his ability to win over new fans in other markets. Maybe his love for Tom Brady and his support for Big Ben convinces the Texans he is a good guy after all. I also wondered if this Twitter business is how Miami formed its Unholy Trinity, but that's a discussion for another day.
Even if the Houston Texans think Cromartie is an "ok" guy, do they think he is a premiere cornerback? Then again, that might be the wrong question to ask, considering the Texans' appraisal of other cornerbacks like Jacques Reeves and Kareem Jackson. I know the Chargers' front office doesn't consider him worth more than a third round draft pick, and many fans have questioned his heart and blame him for their 2010 playoff loss to the Jets. In a discussion about free agent cornerbacks in January, BRB readers seemed less than impressed with Cromartie (especially since there are more tempting free agent corners available). Here was DreKeem's summary of Cromartie in January:
Do you remember the 10-interception effort Cromartie had in his sophomore season, including a hat trick against Peyton Manning in prime time? Things have changed so much then. Once labeled the next great playmaking corner, Cromartie had fallen of the wayside the past few years before finally rejuvenating his career in his first year with the Jets. I attribute a lot of that to Rex Ryan's scheme and him being in a contract year. He's not the type of player personality-wise (as if I know anything about him as a person) the Texans go after, considering he has nine kids, coming from eight different women and in six different states. Amazing. He could be available if the Jets decide to screw the rest of the league over and pair Asomugha with Revis and become the Miami Heat of pass defenses. They'll probably end up opting for the cheaper Cromartie, at least we hope.
Jets fans seem to consider Cromartie effective against bigger, deep threat receivers and generally think the Jets should re-sign him as long as the price is right. Another complicating factor is that Cromartie is one of those 5-year veterans. Depending on the settlement over the new CBA, he might be an unrestricted free agent or he might not. As it stands now, the Jets have tendered a first round tier offer to Cromartie, giving them the chance to match any other team's offer and/or receiving a first round pick from any team that signs him. Don't expect those conditions to remain the same after the new CBA is agreed upon. So, if Cromartie is truly interested in joining Andre and friends in Houston, should the Texans try to sign him?