Veteran CB Antonio Cromartie, Colts ink one-year deal

The Colts' defense is in dire straits.

Concerns over the front seven's ability to generate a pass rush have been trumped by a rash of injuries in the secondary, leading Indianapolis to take a flier on a veteran free agent who has drawn little interest from the other 31 teams.

The Colts signed cornerback Antonio Cromartie after the former Jets star worked out in front of coaches on Monday, the team announced. The deal is worth $3 million over one year, a source informed of the contract told Ian Rapoport. The deal includes $250,000 guaranteed and up to $500,000 in incentives, Rapoport added.

Rapoport reported last month that the 32-year-old was battling "lingering" hip problems. Monday's workout was Cromartie's first reported visit since he was released by Gang Green in February.

Although Cromartie earned an alleged four-year, $32 million contract after a bounceback 2014 season with the Cardinals, he was a bust in his reunion with the Jets last year. Once an athletic marvel even by the NFL's lofty standards, he clearly lost a step in 2015, allowing a passer rating of 112.0 on throws in his coverage, per Pro Football Focus.

How desperate are the Colts at the back end of their defense?

Top cornerback Vontae Davis is expected to miss 2-3 games due to a medial sprain in his ankle, per Rapoport. As the lone Pro Bowl-caliber player on coach Chuck Pagano's defensive roster, Davis' loss cannot be overemphasized.

The other starter, Patrick Robinson, injured his groin in Saturday's preseason game.

If that wasn't disconcerting enough, subpackage cornerback Darius Butler is nursing a hamstring issue after moonlighting at safety early in camp. Last year's third-round draft pick, D'Joun Smith, is still being eased back in after encountering a setback in his return from a knee injury that ruined his rookie season.

Pressed into action with the first-team defense, undrafted rookie Darius White appeared lost on a 41-yard pass interference penalty and a Jeremy Butler touchdown reception Saturday night.

Asked about the status of his cornerbacks on Monday, coach Chuck Pagano didn't mince words.

"It's a little scary," Pagano conceded, via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin. "It's not pretty right now."

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