The Washington Redskins signed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Friday, the team announced, after a courtship that began last year. The parties agreed to a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the deal, although the financial compensation was not immediately made available.
Rodgers-Cromartie, who turns 33 next month, decided to retire in October while holding a backup role with the Oakland Raiders. He had played 11 seasons, also appearing for the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Rodgers-Cromartie interviewed with the Redskins last offseason and left without a deal before signing with the Raiders.
“I really wasn’t done, to be honest,” Rodgers-Cromartie told Redskins.com. “I just had a lot of emotions [last year]. At the end of the day, I know I still have a lot in the tank, you know, make sure I maximize that.”
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound cornerback has two Pro Bowls on his résumé, and his 30 career interceptions are tied for sixth among active players. In October, Rodgers-Cromartie announced his retirement on Instagram, saying he was “at peace” with his decision.
That apparently changed. Rodgers-Cromartie described an emotional period in which he was playing catch-up after signing in late August, dealing with a grandmother’s health issue and not wanting to block younger players’ opportunities.
“I was just sitting home watching games every Sunday like ‘God.’ Just the feeling, man, it never left me, you know," Rodgers-Cromartie told the team website. "I just was at that time where I had to take time for myself and just doing it that way. You know the universe is crazy. It always has a way of working itself out.
"I was watching the games last year and was like, ‘Teams still need corners,’ you know? I know I still have a lot left, and I was like, ‘Put it out there, man.' I still want to play. I still have a lot to play. If someone gives me the opportunity, man, jump on it.”
He added a new Instagram post Friday, calling his return to the NFL with Washington a “blessing.” He added, “Now watch me work.”
The Redskins didn’t have much depth at cornerback in 2018 and were severely affected when starter Quinton Dunbar missed a large portion of the season with a nerve issue in his leg. Rookies Greg Stroman and Danny Johnson were forced into action and were inconsistent, as rookie cornerbacks tend to be. Stroman was a seventh-round pick; Johnson was an undrafted free agent.
Josh Norman remains the starter opposite Dunbar. Fabian Moreau was the slot cornerback last season before the Dunbar injury pushed him back outside, and the coaching staff expressed excitement about his work from that position.
The signing of Rodgers-Cromartie reunites him with new Redskins safety Landon Collins; the two played together with the Giants from 2015 to 2017.
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