New York Jets

New York Jets Rumors: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Best Option for Secondary

Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (45) walks onto the field before playing against the San Diego Chargers in an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2014

The New York Jets secondary may be getting an upgrade in the near future as the NFL’s free agency period continues. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who probably hasn’t slept in three days, alerted fans of the news:

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a member of the Denver Broncos during the 2013 season and finished with three interceptions and 14 passes defended. He also scored a touchdown and has found the end zone five times in his career.

Perhaps the best part of Rodgers-Cromartie as a potential free agent is his durability.

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

The cornerback has played in all 16 games in four of his six seasons and only missed a combined four contests in the other two. Freak injuries happen all the time in the NFL, but there are few players who are surer bets to be on the field than Rodgers-Cromartie.

The fact that Rodgers-Cromartie is being mentioned as a potential free agent is interesting because he actually discussed retirement near the end of the 2013 season, via Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated:

Coming out of college I gave myself a five-year goal. If I could just make it five years, I would be all right. Coming from a small school and of course playing six [seasons], it has been a long journey and I am weighing my options. I am still a young guy and not a Champ Bailey or Peyton Manning who have a legacy of going out on top. I had a goal of five years and I reached that. 

Premature retirement talk aside, Rodgers-Cromartie is the best remaining corner available after Aqib Talib, Charles Tillman and Darrelle Revis signed contracts, as Manish Mehta of the Daily News suggested:

The Jets defense finished a concerning 22nd in the league last season in passing yards allowed per game. They need to upgrade the secondary, and adding Rodgers-Cromartie would be a solid place to start.

The New England Patriots landed Revis, so if nothing else it would something of a response to the division’s best team.

Furthermore, New York has to deal with Tom Brady’s arm and the speed of Mike Wallace twice a year in the AFC East. It’s not exactly the NFC North with Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb and Aaron Rodgers, but the Jets still need a better secondary in 2014.

Looking forward, expect the Jets to continue to attack the offseason aggressively.

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

They already added wide receiver Eric Decker, which at least partially addressed the glaring need that is the passing attack, and could add a tight end or another receiver in the draft. If Rodgers-Cromartie were to join the defense, both sides of the ball would see an improvement.

Considering the strong running game that is already in place and assuming that Geno Smith develops from year one to year two (especially now that he has a new and talented target in Decker), New York could feasibly compete for a playoff spot in an AFC that is wide open behind the Denver Broncos and Patriots.

 

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