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Trader Mike lands Cromartie

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie #31 of the San Diego Chargers warms up on the field prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty/Robert Laberge

Well, that didn't take long.

Before the clock struck midnight and the free agency period officially begins (actually, it starts at 12:01 a.m. if you want to get all technical), the Jets have swooped in and stolen the spotlight.

And it didn't come via a signing.

GM Mike Tannenbaum has struck a deal with the Chargers to bring CB Antonio Cromartie to New York, giving the Jets an upgrade opposite Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis after they released CB Lito Sheppard. The Jets will give up a third-round draft pick in 2011, which reportedly can escalate to a second-rounder.

Cromartie's play has dipped in the last two seasons after he had that stellar 2007 Pro Bowl campaign, when he racked up a ridiculous 10 interceptions. He only picked off three passes in 2009 -- that after a mere two a season earlier -- had 10 passes defensed and 33 combined tackles.

But Rex Ryan probably figures he can get him back on track. Cromartie, entering the final season of a five-year, $12.5 million contract, will have plenty of incentive to show he's still got it. He'll get more than his fair share of opportunities, too, just like Sheppard or even CB Dwight Lowery when he was out there getting picked on.

Cromartie turns 26 next month.

New York Sports