Antonio Cromartie says he's Jets' second-best receiver

New York Jets safety corner back Antonio Cromartie

New York Jets safety corner back Antonio Cromartie (31) shares a laugh with other members of the defense during practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 7, 2012) (Credit: Joe Epstein)

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Antonio Cromartie has gotten only one rep at wide receiver this week, but the Jets' cornerback already thinks he's a better offensive weapon than Chaz Schilens, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley.

"I haven't really played it in the past four or five years," Cromartie said Tuesday during an interview on ESPN's "First Take." "But I can put myself as the second [best] just with raw ability and talent going out there, I think, me separating and being a more physical guy out there on the outside."

The Jets are exploring ways to use the cornerback at receiver and Cromartie ran a route during Monday's practice. But despite his limited offensive experience, the cornerback said that -- unlike some of his teammates -- he can run "every single route on the route tree."

Asked specifically if he's better than Kerley, Hill and Dustin Keller, Cromartie said: "Kerley is a more of a slot receiver. Stephen Hill is a younger guy that can get down the field . . . I'm not going to take anything away from my ability.

"So when you ask me that question, I'm going to say: Yes, I believe I'm one of the best receivers on the football team, next to Santonio Holmes."

Honor for Jets greats

The Jets will retire Curtis Martin's No. 28 jersey during halftime of their season opener against the Bills on Sept. 9. The team also will induct the 2012 class of Jets greats (yet to be announced) into the Ring of Honor on Oct. 8.

At halftime of their game vs. the Dolphins on Oct. 28, the Jets will retire Dennis Byrd's number. His No. 90 has not been worn since he suffered a career-ending injury in 1992.

Tannenbaum's take

Like Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum praised Kerley's work ethic, but said "these smaller, nagging injuries, is a little bit of a surprise to us. But knowing the way he's approached things in the past, I'd be surprised if he wasn't ready for us," Tannenbaum said, adding that Kerley is projected to have "a significant role" this season. The GM also is excited to see WR Jordan White (foot) compete in the slot . . . Vladimir Ducasse is competing with incumbent starting left guard Matt Slauson because that's "the best position" for him, the GM said. Tannenbaum also described Ducasse as "emerging" and "a young, ascending player." . . . Tannenbaum wouldn't discuss Darrelle Revis' contract situation, but said he had a "good conversation" with the cornerback a few days before the team left for training camp.

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