Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie speaks to the media Monday at Jersey City, N.J.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is 27 years old, right in his prime as an NFL player.
Perfect time to retire.
The Denver Broncos cornerback said Monday he’s giving serious consideration to hanging it up after the Super Bowl. He’s not burned out, not worried about his health.
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He just figures he’s had a good run.
”I had a goal of playing 5 years, and I reached that,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
He’s completed six seasons in the NFL, in fact, and could be in line to command plenty of money after making three interceptions in 2013. But Rodgers-Cromartie insisted that depending on how he feels after Sunday’s game, he might call it quits.
He even knows what he would do instead of football. He’d go back to college and study psychology to become a guidance counselor at his old high school.
”I had my fun in this league,” he said.
Rodgers-Cromartie came out of Football Championship Subdivision Tennessee State and figures he wasn’t supposed to make it in the NFL at all from a small school, let alone surpass the average 2 to 3 years that players last in the league.
He wasn’t a typical lower-division prospect, though, selected by the Cardinals with the 16th overall pick in 2008. Rodgers-Cromartie played three years in Arizona and two in Philadelphia before joining the Broncos.
He regularly tells his teammates about his plan.
”They always think I am joking about it,” he said.
Even if he sticks around next season, Rodgers-Cromartie can’t imagine repeating the feat of fellow Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, who’s in his 15th year in the league.
Asked about Bailey’s longevity, Rodgers-Cromartie exclaimed a curse word in admiration, then added, ”He can have that.”
GIANTS GUESTS: The Seattle Seahawks are preparing for the Super Bowl against the Broncos at the New York Giants’ training facility, which opened in 2009 and is adjacent to MetLife Stadium.
When the Giants and Jets were picked to co-host the title game in May 2010, the owners of the teams had hoped they would become the first to play the game in their home stadium.
Neither was so lucky. The Broncos are training at the Jets’ headquarters in Florham Park, N.J., a half-hour’s drive away, which opened in 2008.
”It’s what we signed up for,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. ”We certainly would rather be playing the game ourselves, but we knew there was a good chance someone else would be using our facility.”
Broncos coach John Fox was assured by the NFL that the Jets’ outdoor fields would be in good shape despite the cold weather and inordinate amount of snow that has hit the area this month. Because the Broncos have a bubble instead of a permanent indoor venue – that is being built now – Fox says his team might be jealous of the Jets.
”Our operations guy tells me that the guys will be complaining that it is so much nicer than ours, so he is not real excited about it,” Fox said. ”We’ve heard nothing but great things.”
The Seahawks have a multi-million dollar training facility in Renton, Wash., complete with a mammoth indoor field. The Giants’ complex is similar to Seattle’s, and the Seahawks worked indoors Monday.
”It’s bonus Monday,” Carroll said of the extra practice day.
Most teams don’t work out on Mondays unless they are coming off an off week, which both Super Bowl clubs are.
The Giants, who were 7-9 this season in missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, had to clean out the first floor of their facility. They left their four Super Bowl trophies in a glass case on the first floor for the Seahawks to admire.
When asked if they were worried leaving any notebooks around with trade secrets, Mara laughed.
”If they were looking at our notebooks from this year, there’s definitely not a heck of a lot that would help them,” he said.
Jets owner Woody Johnson said it was bittersweet seeing another team in the game. Mara’s response: ”It could be worse,” a clear reference to NFC East rivals Dallas or Philadelphia using the grounds.
QUIET MARSHAWN: Star running back Marshawn Lynch was not one of the 17 Seattle players or coaches assigned to podiums for media day on Tuesday. That’s not surprising considering Lynch’s reluctance for media attention.
Getting Lynch to speak with the media this season has been as difficult as trying to tackle him. He was originally fined $50,000 by the league after the end of the regular season for not speaking to the media. The fine was appealed and put on hold as long as Lynch complied with league policy during the playoffs.
But Super Bowl media day is an entirely different environment than the few times Lynch has made himself available in front of his locker at the Seahawks’ team facility.
Asked how he’d handle it, Seattle fullback Michael Robinson chuckled.
”I think I’ll probably be there with him,” he said.
COLEMAN’S FORUM: The Seahawks plan to have backup fullback Derrick Coleman, who lost his hearing when he was 3 years old, sit in the stands on media day. That way Coleman can read the lips of reporters.
Had he been placed on a podium, the team felt he would be too far removed from the questioners.
The second-year player from UCLA has become an integral part of the NFC champions, and coach Pete Carroll calls Coleman’s story ”inspirational.” Carroll also believes Coleman has not been at a disadvantage because of his lack of hearing.
”He does his job impeccably well in all areas and everything that we ask of him,” Carroll said. ”He’s a terrific effort guy. … He’s been a fantastic part of the team and it’s been a really cool story. Not because he has issues, because he’s made this team and he’s made a spot for himself and he’s claimed it. The fact that he has a hearing issue is really not even something that we deal with.”