The New York Giants are in need of a quality cornerback and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie needs a team, so it would make sense for the two parties to reunite.
So far, he’s added William Gay, Curtis Riley, Teddy Williams and B.W. Webb. While the additions will add depth to the secondary, with the exception of Gay, the rest of the acquisitions do not have much experience of being a starting cornerback in the NFL.
Even Gay, who turned 33 in January, has seen a decline in being in the starting lineup over the last few seasons. In the last two seasons, he’s only started 10 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Riley, Williams and Webb have started a combined 10 games over their careers.
While there’s depth behind the starters Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple, the Giants have to be concerned on whether their acquisitions can step up and play nickel corner, be a starter if something were to happen to Jenkins or Apple.
This has to be a huge concern considering new defensive coordinator James Bettcher loves to blitz which means cornerbacks will be matched up continuously in one-on-one situations.
The Giants are confident in Jenkins as he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was playing at a high-level last year until he injured his ankle in the Giants 20-10 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Redskins that required season-ending ankle surgery.
Apple, as we all know, suffered through a tumultuous second season both on the field and off the field and was suspended for the season finale. Some questioned if the Giants would part ways with him in the offseason. Apple is still employed, but he will have to prove that he’s matured to his teammates and to head coach Pat Shurmur and Gettleman.
So with only one legit cornerback, it might behoove the Giants to bring back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
DRC was a cap casualty as the Giants cut him in March to clear $6.5 million in cap space. Were now in May and surprisingly the 32-year-old Rodgers-Cromartie has not signed with another team.
DRC hasn’t given any indication that he plans to retire and since he was well liked in the locker room he should be open to a reunion with Big Blue.
The Giants have $9.5 million in cap space. They’ll have to use the bulk of that to sign their draft picks, but they’ll have enough to offer DRC a respectable incentive based contract.
Last season, he appeared in 15 games while tallying 48 tackles, a half sack and zero interceptions.
His productive dipped big time from 2016 when he showcased a team-high six interceptions and was named Second Team All-Pro. But everyone on the defense experienced production declines a year ago, partly attributed to the offense’s inability to control time of possession.
With the offense much improved, the defense will be better and if DRC returns, he should resemble the player he was in 2016 as opposed to last season.
This upcoming season, the Giants will face top-tier quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck if healthy, and emerging star Deshaun Watson. Not to mention they’ll also face Carson Wentz twice who was on his way to becoming league MVP before he tore his knee in Week 14.
This depth chart will need as many quality cornerbacks as possible to deal with these quarterbacks and DRC is the best cornerback available on the free agent market.
Gettleman has executed some shrewd moves to improve the roster since he’s been named general manager. The next move he needs to make to improve the roster is to bring back a player he cut two months ago.