Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie admits that playing safety, as he did for a few snaps on Monday night, just might extend his career. But the New York Giants aren’t thinking that far down the road, even as they seem intrigued with using the talented cornerback in a new role.
And Rodgers-Cromartie certainly isn’t thinking of giving up playing cornerback anytime soon.
For the first time in his NFL career, the 31-year old Rodgers-Cromartie played some safety on Monday night in the second game of the preseason. He liked the move and said it is something that could lengthen his NFL career but he isn’t at that point — “Not yet.”
But for the Giants, finding another way to get Rodgers-Cromartie on the field seems to be something they are willing to tinker with moving forward. And while the veteran cornerback doesn’t see it as a long-term move or something permanent, he was willing to go with the flow in mixing up the personnel in the backend just a bit.
“It was probably just a one-time thing. We’re just getting looks everywhere, seeing what kind of packages we could use,” Rodgers-Cromartie said on Wednesday. “But I definitely don’t think I’d be back there like that.”
The Giants lost to the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, dropping them to 0-2 this preseason.
While they are talented and deep at safety, it is intriguing to think of Rodgers-Cromartie at the position both short-term and down the road. He is long and rangy with good instincts, the ability to cover ground almost at ease.
And with the continued development of cornerback Eli Apple in his second year in the NFL, being able to find another way to utilize Rodgers-Cromartie is some shrewd thinking.
“When you get into the season, you have to look at a couple different things on the 53 and how many guys you hold at each spot; at the safety spot and at the corner spot. And, the more players you have with versatility, the better,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said earlier this week. “DRC is definitely a guy that’s a smart football player. He’s played a lot of football for us and in this league. Just giving him some experience at safety makes you more flexible and if something happens during the course of the game, you can put him out there and he can help you out in that regard.”
While he likely won’t be used there again — at least not anytime soon — he admits that he could see it being a good fit for him at some point in his NFL career. He went so far as to say it could be “easy” to get interceptions from the safety position.
“Especially if you get some of the younger quarterbacks that like to stare down their target a little bit. Seeing it from back there, you can put that foot in the ground and go get it,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Also, I know you’ve got to be disciplined back there, you don’t just abandon the middle field, so that would be kind of tough.”