Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Contract Details: Nsekhe, Anderson, Dorsett

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Redskins, DRC Agree To Deal

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has a new team. The veteran cornerback, who backtracked on his recent retirement, will sign with the Redskins, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

After retiring midseason, the soon-to-be 33-year-old cornerback revealed intentions to resume his career just prior to free agency. He found a taker and will join former Giants teammate Landon Collins in a changing Redskins secondary. While this will be DRC’s first run in Washington, the Redskins did show interest during training camp last year.

Should DRC be on the Redskins’ roster come Week 1, he will have bounced from a Jon Gruden-coached team to Jay Gruden‘s roster. DRC ended up retiring in October of last year, doing so after Jon Gruden did not play him a snap in a game against the Colts. Rodgers-Cromartie played 147 snaps last season, functioning in an inconsistent Raiders secondary. He occupied a more prominent place with the Giants, with whom he was a four-season starter.

DRC and Collins started together in Giants secondaries from 2015-17, before the Giants cut him after pondering an experiment where the former would move to safety. It is not clear if Washington plans to play the lanky defender at corner or safety. Washington is a bit thinner at safety, even with Collins now heading that unit, but DRC has been a corner throughout his 11-year run of game action.

He made the Pro Bowl with the 2015 Giants, the second of his two Pro Bowl honors, and intercepted six passes in 2016. He has 30 career picks, six of which he returned for touchdowns. This will be DRC’s fifth NFL team and third NFC East employer. The Eagles traded for him in 2011, beginning a two-season run for the former first-round pick in Philadelphia.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DRC Ends Retirement; Wants To Play In 2019

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie‘s retirement didn’t last long. The cornerback has been reinstated and wants to play in 2019, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

DRC, 33 in April, abruptly retired from football in late October. His announcement came days after Raiders coach Jon Gruden did not use him on a single snap in a one-sided loss to the Colts. It appears that the cornerback still has the passion to play, just not for the Raiders.

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. Still, the signs of aging were there. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5. DRC also made headlines as he butted heads with coach Ben McAdoo and was briefly suspended by the team. Then, last year, he didn’t do a whole lot for the Raiders’ sagging defense.

The two-time Pro Bowler figures to draw interest on the open market, though he might have to wait until the second wave of free agency to find a home.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Retires

Raiders cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie announced his retirement on Tuesday. Cromartie saw zero snaps on Sunday, which may have influenced his decision. 

Earlier this year, the Giants asked DRC to move from cornerback to safety. The veteran took well to the plan, but balked when the team later asked him to take a pay cut. In late August, he hooked on with Jon Gruden‘s Raiders, but as is the case with many of the vets that went to Oakland, his role was smaller than expected.

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. Still, the signs of aging were there. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5. DRC also made headlines as he butted heads with coach Ben McAdoo and was briefly suspended by the team.

Rodgers-Cromartie entered the league in 2008 as a first-round pick of the Cardinals and has since suited up for the Eagles, Broncos, and Giants. He leaves the game with Pro Bowls to his credit to go along with 30 career interceptions and six TDs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.