Dominique Rodger-Cromartie flew to Newark last night from Florida to visit with the Jets and Giants over the weekend. It is not known yet which team DRC will choose next, but what is known is that he turned down a six year $54 million contract from the Broncos.
Why would Rodgers-Cromartie do such a thing? Mike Klis of the Denver Post explains in an article about the particulars of the contract John Elway offered the veteran cornerback to return to the Broncos.
Klis argues that “no NFL contract is what it seems” and that his agent Eugene Parker knows his way around six year $54 million contracts. While the contract was generous in the first year, it was what the deal looked like after two and three years that made DRC balk at the offer before Elway moved on quickly to Aqib Talib just as he did with DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen.
It also should be noted that included in the $10 million, first-year money to Rodgers-Cromartie was a $5 million signing bonus that would have carried future salary cap ramifications and made it extremely difficult for the Broncos to release the cornerback after the first year.
So Rodgers-Cromartie would have made $16 million after two years. And then it would have been $24 million over three years.
That’s the deal Rodgers-Cromartie turned down. The other $30 million over the final three years was essentially fluff.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comParker and Rodgers-Cromartie are likely going to want to see more guaranteed money up front. DRC might be the best remaining corner on the market and is arguably the best player still available. If the Jets are serious about making an upgrade at the cornerback spot DRC as it seems they are, then this player represents their best last shot.
It is no secret that the Jets have been slow-playing the market. As of Saturday they have the fourth-most cap space remaining but there are plenty of teams who could easily sign Rodgers-Cromartie if they wanted to. So the good news for the Jets is that they still have $27 million in cap space, not even considering Mark Sachez’s figure. Meanwhile the Giants have about $11 million in cap space remaining so signing a player like DRC could quickly soak up the rest but is doable.
My hope is that Idzik realizes this is the time to strike for players that could be key contributors to the Jets in 2014 and beyond. Now that we are through the initial 72 hour flurry, the Jets GM can get players at what he feels like are good values.
But what will be a good value for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? It is fair to say that since the Broncos pulled their deal off the table with DRC that maybe he isn’t worth the $54 million over six years he was originally offered. Even so, if the Jets want to make the one move that has the potential to solidify this defense they shouldn’t get too cute with the Giants and their recent Super Bowl trophies ready to greet the cornerback when he arrives.