Rodgers-Cromartie was asked by the Giants to take a pay cut but he declined. Ranaan also reported the Giants considered having him play at the free safety position, though he’s been a cornerback for his entire NFL career.
Rodgers-Cromartie, who turns 32 on Apr. 7, was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 16th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Tennessee State. He spent two seasons (2011-12) with the Philadelphia Eagles and a season with the Denver Broncos (2013) before signing a five-year, $35 million contract with the Giants in 2014.
Rodgers-Cromartie’s best season with the Giants was 2016, where he tied his career high in interceptions with six and was selected to his second Pro Bowl. He also defended 21 passes and had 41 tackles (33 solo).
Last season, Rodgers-Cromartie’s play trailed off significantly as he didn’t register a single interception in 15 games with nine starts. He only had 31 tackles (14 solo) with one pass defended. A reason for the decline in performance could’ve been the move from his preferred outside cornerback position to the inside slot.
Rodgers-Cromartie’s 2017 season was also marred by controversy. He left the field during the Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Rodgers-Cromartie was later told by former head coach Ben McAdoo he would be benched for the Week 6 game against the Broncos. He responded by leaving the team facility without permission.
To his credit, Rodgers-Cromartie took full responsibility for his actions after the suspension. He emerged as a team leader as the Giants suffered through one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Rodgers-Cromartie’s release means the Giants are content with Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple going forward. Both players were suspended in 2017 for conduct. The Giants may also consider re-signing free agent Ross Cockrell, who played reasonably well when circumstances put him on the field.
Rodgers-Cromartie was scheduled to make $6.5 million in 2018 with a cap hit of $8.5 million. The Giants are currently $14 million under the salary cap. The new coaching staff would have welcomed DRC back into the fold…just not a $6.5 million price tag.
Rodgers-Cromartie confirmed his release on Twitter.
Once a Giant always a Giant right 😎. Thanks for everything, Ima miss my dogs but y'all knw me, SEE BALL, GET BALL!!! pic.twitter.com/qtoSOh2Quy
— DRC (@drc_41) March 11, 2018