The Giants on Sunday released veteran corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a move that saves the team $6.5 million against its 2018 salary cap, upping their available space to around $26.5 million entering the free agency negotiation period on Monday.
Cutting Rodgers-Cromartie, a versatile defensive back who had played both the outside and slot corner positions and safety, also thrusts the Giants into the free agent/draft markets for corner depth and perhaps for starters, too, depending on how they proceed with Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple. Ross Cockrell is a Giants free agent DB who came on strong as a starter late last season that the club should re-sign.
Rodgers-Cromartie became the second Giant released in as many days after punter Brad Wing was cut on Saturday, a move that saved the Giants just over $1 million against the 2018 cap.
The Daily News confirmed Sunday morning that Rodgers-Cromartie had been informed of his imminent release, news first reported by ESPN. Rodgers-Cromartie then confirmed his departure on Instagram before the Giants officially announced the termination of his contract in the early afternoon.
“One a giant always a giants right,” Rodgers-Cromartie typed on his @humblecro Instagram account, with a smiley face wearing sunglasses, below a photo of him warming up on the MetLife Stadium field before a past Giants game. “Thanks for everything, Ima miss my dogs but y’all knw me, SEE BALL GET BALL!!!”
Rodgers-Cromartie, who turns 32 on April 7, was a versatile playmaker and popular player the past four seasons in New York. But he was due to count $8.5 million against the Giants’ cap this upcoming 2018 season, and the Giants, the Daily News has confirmed, asked him to take a pay cut too significant for a player of his talent.
NFL Network first reported the Giants’ request of a pay cut to keep Rodgers-Cromartie in blue.
Rodgers-Cromartie last season was suspended in Week 6 for walking out on then-coach Ben McAdoo after being told he’d be inactive for that weekend’s game in Denver, with the team at 0-5. Rodgers-Cromartie allegedly had broken some team rules late the previous week in practice, before arguing with McAdoo on the sideline over playing time that Sunday in a home game against the Chargers.
But Rodgers-Cromartie later told ESPN that McAdoo’s explanation to him was “BS”, and his frustrations reportedly centered on the coach’s mid-stream and selective changes in rule enforcement. Players such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Ereck Flowers had not been similarly disciplined for more serious transgressions the previous year and a half.
Rodgers-Cromartie was the first of three Giants defensive backs ultimately suspended during the season, followed by Jenkins and Apple, and new Giants GM Dave Gettleman is determined to restore a healthier culture in the locker room headed by new coach Pat Shurmur.
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