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Antonio Cromartie’s release creates corner competition

Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets

Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets warms up prior to playing the Oakland Raiders in their NFL game at O.co Coliseum on Nov. 1, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. Credit: Getty Images / Ezra Shaw

INDIANAPOLIS — With the release of Antonio Cromartie on Monday, the Jets must find a starting cornerback to play opposite Darrelle Revis.

But they may not have to look far for Cromartie’s replacement.

Coach Todd Bowles said nickel cornerback Buster Skrine, former first-round pick Dee Milliner and Marcus Williams are all competing for the job.

“The spot’s open,” Bowles said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Jets saved $8 million in cap space by releasing Cromartie, a 10-year veteran who played for the Jets from 2010-13 and again last season. The decision to part ways wasn’t easy, Bowles said.

“Well, we looked at the tape. After we looked at the tape, he didn’t have the greatest year, but he played with a lot of injuries, to his credit,” Bowles said, adding that the veteran corner “played through pain.”

“Cromartie is one of the finest players I’ve coached. It was a hard decision, but we need to upgrade a little bit at that position and that was why the decision was made.”

Even so, Bowles noted the organization hasn’t completely moved on from Cromartie.

“No, there’s a chance he could come back,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes down the line, but there’s a chance.”

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