Oakland Raiders

Why Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie won’t suit up for the Raiders (or any other NFL team)

Raiders cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday with a post on his Instagram account.
Raiders cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday with a post on his Instagram account. AP

The Raiders made no deals at Tuesday’s trade deadline but did have a surprise retirement.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed with the Raiders on Aug. 23, announced his retirement on social media Tuesday. Coach Jon Gruden informed the team during morning meetings that the two-time Pro Bowler was hanging it up.

Rodgers-Cromartie, 32, went from 55 snaps on defense in London against Seattle to zero in a 42-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The move will likely provide more time for rookie fourth-round pick Nick Nelson, who played 21 snaps against Indianapolis.

“Coach addressed it with us and said, ‘Text him, show him love. Congratulate him on a great career,’” quarterback Derek Carr said following the afternoon walk-through. “There’s no hard feelings at all.”

Cornerback Rashaan Melvin said, “I found out this morning with everyone else and it was a shocker to see him go because he was a great player and a great teammate for us.”

Included on a message posted on Rodgers-Cromartie’s Instagram account: “Today my NFL journey ends ... I’m at peace with my decision ... Y’all may not understand and that’s kool!!!”

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font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"> View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"><div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"></div></div><div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"></div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)"></div></div><div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style=" width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"></div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"></div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"></div></div></div></a> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpj-Rz_F_fG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Today i retire, today my nfl journey ends, and i thank god for keep me all these years. A kid with one kid and no college offers lasted 11 years in the NFL. I played in Super Bowls, pro bowls, n did many more in this leauge. I’m at peace with my decision. Y’all may not understand and that’s kool!!! I wanna thank everyone for their support. Never forget MR. Ooouu himself. Yessuh!!!</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by @<a href="https://www.instagram.com/humblecro/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> humblecro</a> on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2018-10-30T15:21:01+00:00">Oct 30, 2018 at 8:21am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script>

Daryl Worley and Gareon Conley got the bulk of playing time for the Raiders against Indianapolis while Cromartie played 22 snaps on special teams and none in the secondary. A potential role as a safety for Rodgers-Cromartie never evolved. The Raiders went primarily with Marcus Gilchrist, Erik Harris and Karl Joseph at safety against the Colts.

Taking a seat against Indianapolis were starting free safety Reggie Nelson, who had started 38 consecutive games, and Melvin, an off-season free agent signing who had played extensively.

Asked if Rodgers-Cromartie’s departure would open up opportunities for others, Melvin said “I’m pretty sure there will be. We’ll be down a corner.”

Gruden on Monday addressed the possibility that the fluctuation in playing time and roles among the secondary could hurt the confidence and continuity of the unit.

“It can. It can also be an excuse. It can be a lot of things,” Gruden said. “We’re looking for more consistency. We’re looking for somebody to step up, not only on game day but during the week.

A popular veteran, Rodgers-Cromartie bought Raiders jackets with British flags on one arm for his teammates and support staff before the team went to London.

“He showed us how to cherish the game and approach it the right way,” Melvin said. “He was always dancing, always rapping, always singing, showing his personality no matter what.”

Rodgers-Cromartie was credited with six tackles according to the Raiders’ statistics with two passes defended and a forced fumble. He has 30 career interceptions in a career that began with the Arizona Cardinals (2008-10) and continued with Philadelphia (2011-12), Denver (2013) and the New York Giants (2014-17).

With the trade deadline having passed, players who were rumored at various times to be on the block including Joseph, Conley and defensive end Bruce Irvin were all present and accounted for at practice. The Raiders traded Amari Cooper last week to Dallas in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

Carr said the passing of the deadline would put some teammates at ease heading in to the last nine games of the season.

“You want to make sure you’re around, what’s the plan, all those things,” Carr said. “I think it was on a lot of guy’s minds. Just to know that’s almost over with and we’re just playing ball, I think it’s nice for our guys.”

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