Cromartie getting help with lawsuits?
NEW YORK -- Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum wouldn't comment directly Monday about reports the team is helping Antonio Cromartie with his paternity payments, but said they're working with him to "give him his best chance to be successful."
The NFL Network first reported Saturday that the Jets were advancing their newly acquired cornerback $500,000 to help clear up paternity issues.
The 25-year-old Cromartie has fathered seven children by six women in five states. He has a court date scheduled for later this month in California.
Cromartie, acquired last week from San Diego, is due to make $1.7 million in the last season of his five-year, $12 million contract. The Jets reportedly made $500,000 of the deal into a bonus, allowing Cromartie to receive it now, instead of when players receive game checks in September.
"We don't usually talk about those things," Tannenbaum told reporters. "All I would say is we're working with Antonio to give him his best chance to be successful. It's still the same one-year deal. I don't want to go into the specifics, but I think it's one of these situations where hopefully he can resolve some things and go into the offseason program and concentrate on being a Jet, learning the defense and hitting the ground running."
Gary Wichard, Cromartie's agent, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment.
"I made some wrong decisions in my first two years in the NFL and now I have to take on that responsibility of being a father to my kids," Cromartie said during a conference call Friday after the trade. "That's what I have to do."
Cromartie was considered one of the rising talents in the league in 2007, when he was an All-Pro in his second season after getting an NFL-leading 10 interceptions, but has struggled since -- both on and off the field.
The Chargers dealt him to the Jets in exchange for a conditional third-round draft pick in 2011 that could become a second-rounder based on his production. Cromartie will team with All-Pro Darrelle Revis to potentially form one of the league's top cornerback tandems.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press