Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

West Notes: Cardinals, Keim, Moats, Raiders, Rodgers-Cromartie

Cardinals GM Steve Keim has returned from his suspension. In a rare move, the front office executive was suspended due to an arrest for DUI. He missed a crucial part of the team’s offseason but has stepped back in seemingly seamlessly despite not being allowed to have contact with the team during his suspension.

After his return, new details are emerging. Keim apparently had to spend seven days on house arrest after serving two days in jail, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (Twitter link). The organization apparently welcomed him back with open arms as Weinfuss also tweets that team president Michael Bidwill texted Keim at 12:01 the minute after his suspension expired, saying “welcome back.”

Here’s more from the league’s Western divisions:

  • Cardinals coach Steve Wilks announced that defensive end Arthur Moats will miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain, according to Mike Jurecki (Twitter link). The former Steeler signed a one-year deal with Arizona back in July.
  • The details are in on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s one-year deal with the Raiders. Rodgers-Cromartie will make $1.015MM this year, and will count for $630K against the cap according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN (Twitter link). It’s a big pay-cut for DRC, who was scheduled to make $6.5MM this year with the Giants.
  • Scott Bair of NBC Sports is out with his Raiders roster projection. Notably, Bair thinks both Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel will be cut, and that the Raiders will bring in someone from outside the team to be Derek Carr‘s backup.

AFC Rumors: Decker, Gordon, DRC, Broncos

At this summer’s outset, the Patriots‘ receiving corps looked like it could feature plenty of depth. Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell were competing for spots for a team whose top receiver is a 32-year-old slot man coming off a season-erasing injury. But the Julian Edelman-fronted group has experienced some turnover, with that aforementioned trio no longer in the picture. New England brought in another veteran, Eric Decker, recently. The Pats would be the 31-year-old receiver’s fourth NFL team, but he’s not a lock to make the 53-man roster, Andy Hart of Patriots.com writes. Decker does not seem comfortable in the Pats’ offense, Hart adds. If Decker cannot make the Patriots, the supporting cast behind Edelman and Chris Hogan won’t be a slew of seasoned wideouts. Underwhelming ex-first-rounder Phillip Dorsett remains in contention, and kick-return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson looks like a roster lock. Special-teamer Matthew Slater and would-be rookies Braxton Berrios and Riley McCarron round out one of the more interesting groups of the Tom Brady era.

Here’s the latest out of the AFC, shifting to a more famous wide receiver.

  • Josh Gordon‘s back on the Browns‘ active roster after yet another stint away from the team. The Browns are preparing their mercurial weapon to play in Week 1, but he’ll likely miss Thursday’s preseason finale due to hamstring discomfort, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com tweets. Gordon looks to be in the clear as far as another NFL suspension goes, when it was once thought the league could discipline him for his camp absence because of the extensive substance abuse in the seventh-year receiver’s past. But Cabot reports the Browns are working alongside the NFL and Gordon’s medical team to bring him back to work. She adds (via Twitter) the NFL’s cleared Gordon and it will be up to the Browns to determine his participation going forward.
  • Jon Gruden‘s last Raiders team had a deep cast of 30-somethings. This collection doesn’t bring the notoriety the Tim Brown-, Jerry Rice– and Rich Gannon-led operation did, but Gruden’s assembled a unique crew of veterans this offseason. Now that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie‘s on the team, the Raiders have signed 11 players north of 30 just this year. As for why the 32-year-old cornerback is in Oakland after a lengthy stay in free agency, it appears to be because of injuries. “We have had a number of corners go down, and we need somebody to come in here and make a play,” Gruden said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (on Twitter). “With his history in this league, he has a lot of clout. … We are hoping we can rejuvenate him. … He can play.”
  • Shamarko Thomas has enjoyed an eventful preseason. The latest notable event involving the veteran safety proved to be a scary sequence. The recently signed Broncos defender spent the night in a Washington D.C.-area hospital for a possible detached retina, Mike Klis of 9News reports (via Twitter). Thomas is now back in Denver, per Klis (on Twitter). The precise damage to Thomas’ eye remains uncertain. This comes two weeks after Thomas became the first player ejected from a game under the NFL’s new helmet rule. The Colts then released him shortly after. He’s battling for a backup job in Denver.

Raiders Sign CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

After working him out earlier today, the Raiders have signed veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Oakland has added considerable depth to its cornerback room this offseason, but it’s difficult to argue the club has anything close to a No. 1 corner on its roster. Rodgers-Cromartie isn’t viewed in that light, either, but he will give the Raiders another option in the slot. Oakland ranked just 30th in pass defense DVOA in 2017, per Football Outsiders, and performed poorly against opposing slot receivers, finishing 29th in DVOA against inside options.

Currently, 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley and free agent acquisition Rashaan Melvin are projected to start for Oakland at outside corner. DRC will now enter a battle to start in the slot, where he’ll be competing with Daryl Worley, Leon Hall, Nick Nelson, and others for playing time. As Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets, the Raiders will likely keep six cornerbacks on their roster, especially because Worley is likely facing a league-imposed suspension.

In 2017, Rodgers-Cromartie appeared in 15 games (six starts) for the Giants, managing 31 tackles, a half-sack, and one pass defensed while grading as the NFL’s No. 58 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Work Out DRC

The Raiders worked out free agent corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Wednesday, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Previous reports had indicated DRC earlier this month, but he’d actually only spoken with Oakland.

Rodgers-Cromartie has drawn plenty of interest this offseason after being released by the Giants in March. The Redskins were his first free agent visit, and reportedly reached out to him last week prior to cutting slot corner Orlando Scandrick. DRC has also worked out for the Seahawks while the Chargers have reportedly eyed the 32-year-old defensive back.

The Raiders brought in plenty of new faces at the corner position this offseason, adding veterans such as Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Shareece Wright, and Leon Hall, and also drafted Nick Nelson in the fourth round. Melvin is projected to start opposite 2017 first-rounder Gareon Conley, but DRC could give Oakland another option in the slot.

In 2017, Rodgers-Cromartie appeared in 15 games (six starts) for the Giants, managing 31 tackles, a half-sack, and one pass defensed while grading as the NFL’s No. 58 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Reached Out To DRC Last Week

The Redskins reached out to free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last week, according to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter links).

Washington’s interest in Rodgers-Cromartie sheds light on the club’s decision to release fellow cornerback Orlando Scandrick earlier today. As Finlay notes, the fact that the Redskins looked into DRC doesn’t mean he’ll sign (or even meet) with Washington, but the move to cut Scandrick clearly wasn’t executed without the Redskins first exploring other options.

The Redskins were Rodgers-Cromartie’s first visit at the outset of free agency, but his asking price was too high for Washington at that time, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Since then, DRC has worked out for the Seahawks while the Chargers and Raiders have reportedly eyed the 32-year-old defensive back.

Scandrick had been projected as Washington’s slot corner, and that’s a role with which Rodgers-Cromartie is extremely familiar. However, the Redskins are pleased with their more youthful options, as Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and supplemental draft pick Adonis Alexander are now expected to see more time. But head coach Jay Gruden didn’t rule out the possibility of signing a veteran, per Kimberely A. Martin of the Washington Post.

“We still have time,” Gruden said. “If it doesn’t work out, or somebody gets injured, we still have time to make moves also ourselves. … We’re going to go with what we have. We may sign another here shortly.”

In 2017, Rodgers-Cromartie appeared in 15 games (six starts) for the Giants, managing 31 tackles, a half-sack, and one pass defensed while grading as the NFL’s No. 58 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DRC Didn’t Work Out For Raiders

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie indeed worked out for the Seahawks this week, but it doesn’t sound like he auditioned for the Raiders (as was previously reported). The free agent cornerback told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Oakland simply inquired on whether he was in shape, “like a lot of other teams” (Twitter link). DRC added that he hasn’t scheduled a workout with Oakland.

While a former Pro Bowler is usually a welcome addition to any roster, the Raiders didn’t necessarily seem like an ideal fit for the 32-year-old. After all, the team has a relatively crowded cornerback depth chart. Gareon ConleyRashaan Melvin, and Daryl Worley are projected to be the team’s top corners, while Shareece WrightDexter McDonald, fourth-rounder Nick Nelson, and Leon Hall are in play for backup roles.

Of course, DRC’s production also slipped last season. His 77.2 overall score from Pro Football Focus was his lowest since 2012, and he ultimately finished as the league’s 58th-ranked cornerback. He settled into more of a reserve role with the Giants, finishing the campaign with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defended in 15 games (five starts).

Rodgers-Cromartie did acknowledge that he worked out with the Seahawks on Friday morning, saying the audition went “real good. They were impressed.” The connection with Seattle makes sense, especially after the team let go of slot cornerback DeAndre Elliott. If he were to join Seattle, the veteran would likely compete with Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, Tre FlowersNeiko Thorpe, and Trovon Reed for backup reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DRC To Work Out For Seahawks, Raiders

Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will work out for the Seahawks at some point over the next few days, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). After that, he’ll audition for the Raiders. 

DRC was originally scheduled to workout for Seattle last week, but that had to be rescheduled due to a family matter. The Seahawks should be keenly interested in DRC since they could use a slot cornerback after waiving DeAndre Elliott. Behind projected starters Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin, the Seahawks are also rostering Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, Tre FlowersNeiko Thorpe, and Trovon Reed.

Rodgers-Cromartie’s age (32) was likely a factor in the Giants showing him the exit, but that is hardly a deterrent for Jon Gruden. And, even though the Raiders already have plenty of cornerback talent, they are apparently interested in seeing what DRC has to offer. The Raiders project to use Gareon Conley, Rashaan Melvin, and Daryl Worley as their top corners with support from the likes of Shareece Wright, Dexter McDonald, fourth-rounder Nick Nelson, and veteran Leon Hall.

It was an underwhelming 2017 campaign for Rodgers-Cromartie, who finished out as Football Focus’ 58th-ranked cornerback. He finished the season with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defended in 15 games (five starts) for the Giants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Work Out CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?

Yesterday, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported (via Twitter) that veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would be working out for the Seahawks this weekend, which came on the heels of rumors that DRC was generating interest from Seattle and the Chargers. ESPN’s Josina Anderson, however, tweeted this morning that while DRC was indeed scheduled to be in Seattle today, he had a family matter to attend to and could not make the trip. There is no word yet on whether the visit will be rescheduled.

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the 32-year-old since he was let go by the Giants in March. It sounded like Rodgers-Cromartie could have joined the Redskins, but the team ultimately found that the asking price was too high. The 10-year-veteran had also received some interest from the Saints, but there have been no other reported workouts. Despite that, DRC still earned a spot on our recent listing of the top available free agents.

It was an underwhelming 2017 campaign for Rodgers-Cromartie. His 77.2 overall score from Pro Football Focus was his lowest since 2012, and he ultimately finished as the league’s 58th-ranked cornerback. As he settled into more of a reserve role, his numbers also took a predictable dip. He finished the season with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defended in 15 games (five starts). He also clashed with former Giants coach Ben McAdoo before being suspended “indefinitely” for conduct detrimental to the team.

Of course, the Seahawks have had their fair share of head cases over the years, so Pete Carroll‘s staff would be plenty prepared for DRC’s antics. The team could use a slot cornerback, especially after waiving DeAndre Elliott. Behind projected starters Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin, the Seahawks are also rostering Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, Tre FlowersNeiko Thorpe, and Trovon Reed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers, Seahawks Interested In DRC

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie may be closer to finding an NFL home. The free agent is receiving interest from the Seahawks and Chargers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

The Seahawks are showing the most interest in DRC, Rapoport reports, but the Chargers’ are also in the mix thanks to their recent cornerback injury. Now that Jason Verrett is done for the year with an Achilles injury, DRC could step in as the club’s first cornerback off of the bench to support Desmond King and Casey Hayward.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, just recently waived DeAndre Elliott, leaving them thin at slot cornerback. DRC would help address that issue and he might also be able to contribute at safety when needed.

Last year, Rodgers-Cromartie earned a 77.2 overall score from Pro Football Focus, his lowest showing since 2012. He graded out as the 58th ranked cornerback in the NFL, portraying him as someone who is on the fringe of starter quality. His on-field performance was problematic, but there were also behavioral issues. Rodgers-Cromartie clashed with former coach Ben McAdoo on four separate occasions before being suspended “indefinitely” for conduct detrimental to the team. He was brought back after just one game, but teams could still be wary of his locker room influence.

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Chargers’ Jason Verrett Tears Achilles

Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett suffered a torn Achilles during a conditioning test, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via ESPN colleague Josina Anderson on Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was the first to report (via Twitter) that Verrett sustained an injury that would likely cost him the season. Injuries have limited Verrett to just five total games over the past two seasons, so this is obviously devastating news for the 27-year-old. 

Verrett was a full participant in June’s minicamp and reportedly looked like his old self. The Bolts were cautiously optimistic about Verrett after he flashed the ability that earned him a Pro Bowl nod in 2015.

“We can be real special,” Verrett said recently when asked about the Chargers’ secondary“I know it’s a tough for the coaches to make a decision on who’s going to go out there, just because of how deep we are. But I think just how tight we are as a group, it’s going to allow us to keep feeding off each other. Everyone’s going be wanting to get better each and every day because you know the guys behind you are going to want to be where you are.”

Without Verrett, the Bolts will lean more heavily on the likes of Casey HeywardTrevor Williams, and Desmond King. It’s conceivable that they could also explore outside help, such as free agent Bashaud Breeland. Anderson reports that the team is keeping another big name free agent, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, in mind, but that there is no rush to bring DRC in at this time.

Verrett, a 2014 first-round selection, is entering the walk year of his contract. Between his two knee surgeries and this latest setback, Verrett’s future is very much in flux.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.