Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie isn’t shutting down NFL return

Strangely sufficient, the one factor lacking from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s soccer resume this 12 months is taking part in within the NFL.

And he says that nearly occurred, too.

After a short teaching stint at Tennessee State within the FCS spring season, and earlier than becoming a member of the American Flag Football League, Rodgers-Cromartie says he obtained offseason curiosity from the Falcons, Jaguars and Lions. So why is he making circus landing catches for a workforce known as “Kings of Florida” relatively than constructing upon his resume as a two-time Pro Bowler with 30 interceptions over 12 seasons?

“The only problem was I didn’t know until last minute that you had to be fully vaccinated,” the 35-year-old Rodgers-Cromartie advised The Post. “When you feel like something is gone, it’s gone. I wasn’t prepared. I’ve been just living life and playing football.”

NFL gamers usually are not required to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, but the safety protocols are much stricter for the ten p.c who haven’t obtained no less than one shot. Agents say groups primarily solely are fascinated about signing vaccinated free brokers, but when that adjustments Rodgers-Cromartie would take into account un-retiring.

“The game is still in me,” he stated. “I’m in great shape, but to go out there and play a whole season in pads is different.”

“DRC” began the one playoff sport the Giants have performed within the final 10 seasons (2016), however was in the course of the subsequent season’s spiral as one of three defensive backs suspended by the team throughout the identical season coach Ben McAdoo was fired. Only now are the Giants exhibiting indicators of probably popping out of a four-year malaise.  

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie spent four of his 12 NFL seasons with the Giants.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie spent 4 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Giants.
Paul J. Bereswill

“We built something and then everybody started going their own way,” Rodgers-Cromartie stated. “I don’t think we had enough time. We could’ve been a real special group. I did what I could and I wouldn’t change anything I did because I was always a real quiet leader.”

Since leaving the Giants after the 2017 season, Rodgers-Cromartie has performed simply 9 video games, none final season. But he trains along with his cousin – Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers – and can cowl receivers catching passes from Jameis Winston when he gathers teammates for native exercises throughout the offseason.

So, what if a workforce gave discover {that a} short-season alternative is offered when accidents mount in November? Say, for instance, the Jets, who’re mild on cornerback expertise and the place Rodgers-Cromartie “almost happened” to sign up 2014.

 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in 2017.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in 2017.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“I could still go out there and guard the No. 1 receiver easy,” Rodgers-Cromartie stated. “I’m still running with them and right there guarding everybody. I can still play the game at a high level.”

Instead he’s taking part in it for enjoyable. That’s how “DRC” described his choice to hitch the 7-on-7 American Flag Football League, which can livestream 10 playoff video games on Facebook starting at 10 a.m. Saturday with Rodgers-Cromartie going through a workforce headlined by former Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams.

“You get to understand what football really is without the helmet and the tackling,” Rodgers-Cromartie stated. “It’s the skill set of running, jumping, catching, being athletic where you can run full speed and stop on a dime, and with only seven people on the field you can see the smarts because you have to have a strategy.”

Rodgers-Cromartie adopted Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens into the American Flag Football League and tried with blended outcomes to recruit former NFL teammates as his 15-player workforce chases the $200,000 prize. His rule for invitations is “all cornerbacks.”

“I love the trash-talking that goes on,” stated Rodgers-Cromartie, who earned $47 million within the NFL. “When guys figure out who I am, they love to say, ‘This isn’t the NFL. This is the AFFL. This is our world.’ They keep gunning for me, so I have to stay on my toes.”

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