Jets hope to re-sign Holmes, Edwards before Cromartie

The New York Jets are willing to let cornerback Antonio Cromartie explore free agency this offseason, sources said Wednesday.

The Jets hope to re-sign wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards first because they want to maintain continuity on their offense. They believe surrounding young quarterback Mark Sanchez with veterans Holmes and Edwards is essential, according to a source.

Edwards led the Jets with seven touchdown catches this past season and was second in receptions with 53. Holmes, whom the Jetsacquired after the 2009 season from the Pittsburgh Steelers, was second in TD catches (six) and third in receptions (52) despite missing the first four regular-season games while suspended for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Holmes, Edwards and Cromartie are eligible for unrestricted free agency once the NFL and its players' union agree to a new collective bargaining agreement. The current deal expires March 3.

Cromartie, whom the Jetsacquired from the San Diego Chargers after the 2009 season, tied for the team lead with three interceptions in 2010. He added 42 tackles.

Cromartie has been outspoken on his Twitter account about topics ranging from Jets opponents, especially New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, and the NFL's labor situation. On Thursday, Cromartie was at it again, this time tweeting about his upcoming free agency: "U know I could careless about a rumor because as of now and until me and my business partners are told otherwise I'm a JET to the end. Gang Green baby. Plus it's just a rumor. Lol"

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