Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made some headlines Monday when he told the media he might retire if his team wins the Super Bowl on Sunday.
“I had a goal of playing 5 years, and I reached that,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Just 27 years old and coming off a pretty productive season, it would be a pretty odd move (and it’s one he’s since backed off of, at least a little).
Rodgers-Cromartie has had a bit of an up-and-down career since being drafted 16th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2008.
As a rookie, he picked off four passes and helped lead the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. The next season, he intercepted six passes and was invited to the Pro Bowl.
But in 2010 he picked off just three passes, and following the season he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in the deal that brought quarterback Kevin Kolb to the desert.
Following two fairly unproductive seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, DRC found a home with the Denver Broncos, where he has had a bit of a career renaissance.
The former Tennessee State star collected three interceptions to go along with 31 tackles. Without him, the Broncos probably don’t reach the Super Bowl. It will be the cornerback’s second appearance in the big game, though years later the first one still stings a bit.
“Not to the point where it beats me up, but just to the point that we were that close to getting a ring,” Rodgers-Cromartie said Monday.
He was close, as the Cardinals let a late lead slip away and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23.
“I do tend to think about it a lot,” DRC added. “Anytime the Super Bowl comes back around, they tend to show that play to this day. You sit there, look at it and think, ‘I was almost there.’ You can’t dwell on it. [That was] the main thing I learned from that game, and I am looking forward to playing in this one.”
Rodgers-Cromartie finished with five solo tackles in the game, but could only watch as Ben Roethlisberger’s pass found Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the last minute.
Hoping to avoid a similar fate, DRC says he’s learned from his experience.
“I was a rookie,” he said. “I was young. I was still grasping the concept of being in the NFL. I was just happy-go-lucky. I was happy to be there, very excited and really enjoyed it. Now being a little older, I can keep my mind back and understand that we are here to play a game, and after we get a victory, we can really enjoy it.”