Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Antonio Cromartie says prayer was vital in making decision to retire

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie announced his retirement from professional football after playing 11 NFL seasons with the Chargers, Jets, Cardinals and Colts.

Cromartie took to social media to share his thoughts on saying goodbye to the game of football and how his faith in God and prayer were vital in his decision.

Today is the day I️ knew I️ would eventually have to face, but one I never wanted to accept. After 27 years of playing football, today I say farewell. God blessed me with the opportunity to play in the NFL for 11 years, and after much consideration and prayer, I’d like to officially announce my retirement. Throughout my career so many people have helped strengthen and guide me. I’d love to send my sincere thanks to my Coaching Staff, Trainers, Chaplains and Fellow Teammates. To my agents Gary Wichard (Rest Easy G), and Ben Dorga, thank you for not only guiding me throughout my career, but also for making me feel like family and not a client. To The San Diego Chargers and the Spanos Family, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for taking a chance on a young kid from Tallahassee, Florida who did not play much in college. You believed in my ability and my potential to play at a professional level, and I️ will forever be grateful. To all the Charger Fans; thank you for your love, your support and never giving up on me throughout my career. To my "Bird Gang Family, “The Arizona Cardinals” and the Bidwell Family; although my time with you was short, I️ enjoyed my year there and I loved the opportunity you gave me. It was an honor to play for such a great organization. To my J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS, The Best NFL Team in New York, The Jets Organization. You became my home and my family. I grew as a player, a man, and as a leader. The brotherhood I️ built here was undeniable. My heart will forever embrace the feeling of running through the tunnel and out onto the field with my brothers. My family and I will forever Bleed Green. JETUP, JET NATION. To my lovely wife Terricka, thank you for your support through the ups and downs of my career. You were always there to encourage me, and push me. Because of you I became a better player, and a man. I thank God, for a praying wife for I know it was your prayers that sustained me, and protected me while I was on the field. As we take on this next chapter of our lives, I will hold onto your words.. “Football is your Platform Antonio; It’s Not Your Purpose”. The Time has Come for me to Focus on my Purpose. God Bless

A post shared by Antonio Cromartie (@antoniocromartie31) on

Today is the day I️ knew I️ would eventually have to face, but one I never wanted to accept. After 27 years of playing football, today I say farewell. God blessed me with the opportunity to play in the NFL for 11 years, and after much consideration and prayer, I’d like to officially announce my retirement.

Throughout my career so many people have helped strengthen and guide me. I’d love to send my sincere thanks to my Coaching Staff, Trainers, Chaplains and Fellow Teammates. To my agents Gary Wichard (Rest Easy G), and Ben Dorga, thank you for not only guiding me throughout my career, but also for making me feel like family and not a client.

To The San Diego Chargers and the Spanos Family, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for taking a chance on a young kid from Tallahassee, Florida who did not play much in college. You believed in my ability and my potential to play at a professional level, and I️ will forever be grateful. To all the Charger Fans; thank you for your love, your support and never giving up on me throughout my career.

To my “Bird Gang Family, “The Arizona Cardinals” and the Bidwell Family; although my time with you was short, I️ enjoyed my year there and I loved the opportunity you gave me. It was an honor to play for such a great organization.

To my J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS, The Best NFL Team in New York, The Jets Organization. You became my home and my family. I grew as a player, a man, and as a leader. The brotherhood I️ built here was undeniable. My heart will forever embrace the feeling of running through the tunnel and out onto the field with my brothers. My family and I will forever Bleed Green. JETUP, JET NATION.

To my lovely wife Terricka, thank you for your support through the ups and downs of my career. You were always there to encourage me, and push me. Because of you I became a better player, and a man. I thank God, for a praying wife for I know it was your prayers that sustained me, and protected me while I was on the field.  As we take on this next chapter of our lives, I will hold onto your words.. “Football is your Platform Antonio; It’s Not Your Purpose”. The Time has Come for me to Focus on my Purpose. God Bless

Cromartie, 33, last played in the NFL in 2016 with the Colts. He was selected 19th overall by the Chargers in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The following season, he was named first-team All Pro as he led the NFL in interceptions with 10. He was traded to the Jets in 2010 and then signed with the Cardinals in 2014. He returned for a season with the Jets in 2015 and then played just four games before being released in 2016 by the Colts.  He finished his career with 31 picks and was named to four Pro Bowls.

When Cromartie was released by the Jets in 2016, he shared on his Instagram page how thankful he was to Jesus for that opportunity.

First I would like to give thanks to my Lord and Savior because everything that I've been blessed with is because of you. Thank you again. Now I would like to thank the Jets Organization for bringing me back this past season. I had a lot of fun and I know my first half of the season didn't go well and I thank you guys for pushing and believing in me while keeping me on the field so I could finish strong. Today is a sad day for me not because of my release but the guys I became really close to in our DB room. @busterskrine @revisislandtwo4 @instant9 @mgilchr @therealmarcwill @dmilli27 @wavyy_25 @dbailey37 @dex_25 man y'all niggas were my brothers and I would do anything for y'all man. God bless y'all boys in the future and let God lead the way for you. To the Jets Nation, the most important people that make Sunday's so fun…thank you for welcoming me back. You guys are the best fans ever and thank you for sticking next to me through my tough times last season, you rock. Keep the excitement in the stands, because Coach Bowles will have the guys right this upcoming season. I Vow to be the person and player my Heavenly Father has asked me to be. God Bless You. Sorry @busterskrine I had to put this up lol.

A post shared by Antonio Cromartie (@antoniocromartie31) on

“First, I would like to give thanks to my Lord and Savior because everything that I’ve been blessed with is because of you.”

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