For Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, it was either “pay cut” or get cut. On Sunday, he chose the latter.
The New York Giants have decided to release the veteran cornerback, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, per a source. ESPN first reported the news.
Rodgers-Cromartie appeared to confirm his departure on Instagram:
The move comes one day after NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported DRC was asked by the new Giants regime to take a “significant pay cut” from his $6.5 million salary for the 2018 season. Rapoport added that Rodgers-Cromartie was also asked to move to safety, but the corner refused and will now test the open market as an outside cornerback.
Rodgers-Cromartie joins a slew of top-to-mid tier cornerbacks in the free agency pool. Former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spent just one day on the market before signing an incentive-laden deal with the San Francisco 49ers. Sans Sherman, Malcolm Butler, Trumaine Johnson, Bashaud Breeland, E.J. Gaines, Brent Grimes, Morris Claiborne and Prince Amukamara lead this season’s free-agent cornerback class. Of those top talents, the 31-year-old DRC is older than all of them but Grimes.
Rodgers-Cromartie has played for four organizations (Cardinals, Eagles, Broncos, Giants) over 10 seasons in the league. He spent the last four years of his career in New York and was released Sunday with one season remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal signed in 2014.
A two-time Pro Bowler and 2016 second-team All-Pro, DRC saw his production take a hit during New York’s tumultuous 2017 season. The corner failed to record an interception for the first time since 2011 and recorded just one pass defensed in 15 games played. Rodgers-Cromartie also incurred a team-issued suspension early in the season after getting into a heated argument with then-Giants coach Ben McAdoo in practice.
It remains to be seen what DRC’s market will be, considering the dearth of younger free-agent options at corner this offseason, or whether the veteran footballer will be willing, with another organization, to switch positions.