Veteran CB Antonio Cromartie announces his retirement from the NFL
Through much of the last decade, veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie was one of the most dependable players at his position in the league. However, he was unable to latch onto a team this past season marking the first time in his NFL career that he didn’t play a single game.
This had placed much uncertainty surrounding Cromartie’s future in the league given his extended absence away from the game and no true discussion about a possible return. With that in mind, the 33-year-old decided to take to social media on Monday morning to officially announce his retirement from the NFL after 11 seasons.
Today is the day I️ knew I️ would eventually have to face, but one I never wanted to accept. After 27 years of playing football, today I say farewell. God blessed me with the opportunity to play in the NFL for 11 years, and after much consideration and prayer, I’d like to officially announce my retirement. Throughout my career so many people have helped strengthen and guide me. I’d love to send my sincere thanks to my Coaching Staff, Trainers, Chaplains and Fellow Teammates. To my agents Gary Wichard (Rest Easy G), and Ben Dorga, thank you for not only guiding me throughout my career, but also for making me feel like family and not a client. To The San Diego Chargers and the Spanos Family, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for taking a chance on a young kid from Tallahassee, Florida who did not play much in college. You believed in my ability and my potential to play at a professional level, and I️ will forever be grateful. To all the Charger Fans; thank you for your love, your support and never giving up on me throughout my career. To my "Bird Gang Family, “The Arizona Cardinals” and the Bidwell Family; although my time with you was short, I️ enjoyed my year there and I loved the opportunity you gave me. It was an honor to play for such a great organization. To my J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS, The Best NFL Team in New York, The Jets Organization. You became my home and my family. I grew as a player, a man, and as a leader. The brotherhood I️ built here was undeniable. My heart will forever embrace the feeling of running through the tunnel and out onto the field with my brothers. My family and I will forever Bleed Green. JETUP, JET NATION. To my lovely wife Terricka, thank you for your support through the ups and downs of my career. You were always there to encourage me, and push me. Because of you I became a better player, and a man. I thank God, for a praying wife for I know it was your prayers that sustained me, and protected me while I was on the field. As we take on this next chapter of our lives, I will hold onto your words.. “Football is your Platform Antonio; It’s Not Your Purpose”. The Time has Come for me to Focus on my Purpose. God Bless
Throughout his NFL career, Cromartie had established himself as one of the better cornerbacks in the league while playing four the then-San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts. He had earned four Pro Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro nod, and is tied for the all-time mark with a 109-yard touchdown return. This includes making 31 interceptions while recording multiple eight times in his career including an NFL-best 10 interceptions in the 2007 season. Three of these grabs were returned for touchdowns while also recorded 417 total tackles and 116 pass deflections.
Cromartie had been cut after four games by the Colts in the 2016 season, which was a move that he thought the team enacted due to his decision to take a knee during the national anthem. He had even voiced that he believes it was part of the reasoning for him going unsigned all through this past year.
Nonetheless, it marks the conclusion of a highly productive career that spanned over a decade. He proved to be a valuable asset in the secondary for each of the teams that he took the field for during his playing days. This next chapter of his life away from the game will see him be the central focus alongside his family on the reality show “The Cromarties,” which has aired on the USA Network since late 2017.