The Giants released cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Sunday, ending his four-season tenure with the team and saving $6.5 million against the salary cap on the eve of free agency.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old was due to earn $6.48 million in 2018, the final year of his contract. The savings against the cap leaves the Giants with approximately $20 million in space. They could create more space — by cutting players or their salaries — before the start of the league year on Wednesday. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris are likely candidates for such decisions. The Giants released punter Brad Wing on Saturday, saving $1.025 million.
Rodgers-Cromartie’s on-field role diminished in recent years as he was transitioned from an outside cornerback to the slot. He was named second-team All-Pro at that position in 2016. He remained popular in the locker room even after he was suspended for one game in 2017 for violating team rules. That occurred after a spat with coach Ben McAdoo led to his benching and Rodgers-Cromartie left the building.
“Once a Giant always a Giant,” Rodgers-Cromartie posted Sunday on Instagram. “Thanks for everything, Ima miss my dogs but y’all knw me, SEE BALL, GET BALL!!!”
He becomes a free agent immediately and is able to sign with any team. If he does, it will be his fifth NFL team as he heads into his 11th season. A first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2008, he played for them for three years before two with the Eagles, one with the Broncos and four with the Giants.
The move leaves the Giants in search of depth at cornerback. Their two projected starters are Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple, each of whom also was suspended for a game last season. They could re-sign Ross Cockrell, a pending free agent whom they acquired at the start of the regular season and who played well toward the end of it. Free agency and the draft could provide other options.