Last week the Oakland Raiders signed another experienced vet, as they agreed to a deal with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cromartie is 32, a two-time Pro Bowler, and has racked up 11 seasons in his long career. He’s a solid addition that should bring some much-needed depth to the Raiders’ secondary.
Cromartie will likely serve as depth. His signing came at a perfect time for this cornerback group that was seriously lacking bodies. Cromartie has always been able to stay on the field, as he’s played less than 15 games just once in his career, and that season he still managed to play 13. That will be valuable, considering that Gareon Conley only played two games in his rookie season, and Rashaan Melvin only participated in 10 games last year. Having a veteran presence that can stay on the field will be a valuable asset to players in this secondary like Conley, Obi Melifonwu, and others who have struggled with injuries.
Cromartie has spent his past four seasons with the New York Giants. He had two of the best years of his career in 2015 and ’16. In 2015 he made his second career pro bowl, with three interceptions, 13 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and 52 tackles. ProFootballReference.com gave him an approximate value of 9, the second highest of his career.
Cromartie’s 2016 was even better. He had six interceptions, 21 passes defended, forced a fumble, and had 41 tackles. Again, he was given an approximate value of 9. Cromartie is a big corner, listed at 6’2, and weighing in at 203 lbs. His size and style of play seem like a good fit in Paul Guenther’s system.
The Raiders’ depth chart hasn’t been updated yet, but DRC will be joining a group including Conley, Melvin, Leon Hall, Daryl Worley, Shareece Wright, Tevin Mitchell, Nick Nelson, Antonio Hamilton, and Dexter McDonald. It’s likely that Worley will be suspended for a game or two, so there’s a good chance DRC could see lots of reps, at east for the first week or two.
Cromartie has proven he can stay on the field and play at a high level. Adding that to a cornerback group that desperately needed more depth looks like a great move by the front office. Let’s see if Guenther can help bring Cromartie back to his 2016 level.