The Indianapolis Colts’ defense is in trouble.

Colts Sign Veteran CB Antonio Cromartie To One-Year Deal

The team’s secondary defense has suffered a string of injuries, which has prompted the organization to take a flier on a veteran free agent who hasn’t received much interest from the other 31 NFL teams.

The Colts signed former New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Monday after he worked out in front of coaches, the team has announced. The deal is for one year, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. 

Rapoport reported last month that Cromartie, 32, was fighting “lingering” hip problems. Monday’s workout was the cornerback’s first reported visit since he was released by the Jets in February.


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Although Cromatie inked an alleged four-year, $32 million contract after a bounce-back 2014 season with the Arizona Cardinals, he was a bust in his return to the Jets last year.

Cromartie has played a total 158 career NFL games and made 133 starts, recording 389 tackles, 31 interceptions (including three returned for touchdowns), 115 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown) for the Jets (2010-2013, 2015), Arizona Cardinals (2014) and San Diego Chargers (2006-09).

The four-time Pro Bowl selection (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014) was named first-team All-Pro in 2007 by the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated. His 31 interceptions rank third in the NFL among active players.

According to Pro Football Focus, Cromartie allowed a passer rating of 112.8 on throws in his coverage in 2015. The veteran was drafted by the Chargers out of Florida State in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. 

Meanwhile, Colts starting cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson are nursing injuries. Davis is expected to miss 2-3 games due to an ankle sprain, per Rapoport. Robinson injured his groin in Saturday’s pre-season game.

In addition, reserve Darius Butler is nursing a hamstring issue after starting at safety early in camp. Fellow reserve and last year’s third-round draft pick D’Joun Smith is still recovering from a knee injury that ruined his rookie season.

When asked about his cornerbacks situation on Monday, coach Chuck Pagano was completely and brutally honest: “It’s a little scary,” Pagano conceded, via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin. “It’s not pretty right now.”

As a result of all these injuries, the Colts were forced to turn to undrafted rookie Darius White on Saturday during a 19-18 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. During the game, White seemed lost on a 41-yard pass interference penalty and a Jeremy Butler touchdown reception.

On Monday, the Colts also signed undrafted free agent wide receiver Justin Berger and waived wide receivers Marcus Leak and Andrew Opoku.

Both Leak and Opoku signed as free agents earlier this year. Leak hasn’t played so far this preseason, while Opoku assisted on a special teams tackle on Saturday.

GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 26: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie #31 of the Arizona Cardinals waves to fans after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-20 in the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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