Arizona Cardinals fans are excited about the addition of Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie. You can tell be the way he smiles and the way he talks that he is excited to be here, too.
Maybe it is was the more than $3 million he will earn this season or maybe the fact that he gets to be a part of a very, very good defense on a team that is gearing up to hopefully be a contender.
He told Mike Jurecki and Jody Oehler that he believes that the lack of interest around the league was probably a mix of two reasons -- his asking price and his hip injury from last season.
Cromartie said he played with a hip flexor strain, but that is is now fine. "Today I'm full speed and ready to go," he said. "There's no problem with my hip."
Hopefully that is the truth and he can add his ball skills and cover abilities to make the defense even better than it was last season.
He also explained what was so attractive about coming to Arizona. It had to do with the situation and the team makeup.
"You just have a great group of guys in the locker room," Cromartie explained. "I think you've got great leadership there. Everyone's there for one thing and that's to win."
It is impressive that a player from outside the team would say that. In part that has to do with the fact that the team tasted success with the new coaching staff, so clearly everyone will buy in and push one another to keep winning."
The next big question was about what will happen with Cro playing opposite Patrick Peterson. Will it make them an elite pair?
"I don't think it does," he explained.
"They don't throw at Patrick Peterson that much. And now a guy like me coming off a subpar year from last year, I'm probably going to get a lot of balls."
That jives with the concept of "creating statistics" that general manager Steve Keim talked about when asked about bringing Cromartie in.
Imagine if Cro is healthy and he and Peterson both lock down the outside receivers. Quarterbacks won't want to throw to either side, so they will go to the inside, where Tyrann Mathieu or Jerraud Powers will be.
One final word of business came -- his number.
"Hopefully I can wear 31," is what he said to Jurecki. Justin Bethel wears 31.
Take a listen to the whole interview here.
- NFL free agency: What the Arizona Cardinals did wrong
- 2014 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals free agency moves help give team flexibility with early picks
- Are Arizona Cardinals the NFC West's 2nd best team now?
- NFL free agency: Which signing has been the biggest for the Arizona Cardinals?
- How good can the Arizona Cardinals secondary be?