DRC SUSPENDED, WON’T PLAY:
Giants coach Ben McAdoo suspended Dominique RodgersCromartie for leaving the team’s facility on Wednesday morning in reaction to being made inactive for this Sunday’s game in Denver as punishment for alleged transgressions last Friday and Sunday. But the veteran defensive back called McAdoo’s message “BS,” even as Rodgers-Cromartie pledged to return Thursday. And contrasting accounts that led to his suspension indicate this standoff between Rodgers-Cromartie and McAdoo is far from over. The Giants are allowed to suspend RodgersCromartie a maximum of four weeks for violating the terms of his contract or conduct detrimental to the team, per the collective bargaining agreement. Rodgers-Cromartie, however, could appeal a suspension through the players’ association. Contrasting information flooded in from different sources and reporters throughout Wednesday.
Rodgers-Cromartie was absent from practice but not on the injury report. McAdoo followed practice with a vague announcement that he and Rodgers-Cromartie had a “personal” conversation Tuesday and that Rodgers-Cromartie “decided to leave” Wednesday, so “we will suspend him.”
The coach’s statement, though, left out the fact that Rodgers-Cromartie’s departure had been in reaction to a disagreement over being told he was benched for the Giants’ Week 6 game.
Next, WFAN’s Mike Francesa reported that the suspension was related to Rodgers-Cromartie taking off his pads at halftime Sunday. He reportedly said he wouldn’t go back onto the field, which led to a physical confrontation with another Giant.
But Rodgers-Cromartie then shared a different, more colorful account with ESPN’s Josina Anderson. He said he and McAdoo had an argument about playing time on the sideline during Sunday’s loss, admitted he had “handled it the wrong way,” and said he would return Thursday. But he added: “but to sit me a game had me hot, so I left. I was suspended way before I left. I left bc I felt what he said was BS.”
Rodgers-Cromartie was under the impression he already had been suspended when he left, given that he had been told he wouldn’t play Sunday in Denver and also would be fined. There is a major financial difference, though, between being fined and benched and suspended.
After Rodgers-Cromartie’s comments appeared to contradict McAdoo, team sources tried to paint a fuller picture. The sources said there had been no altercation between the two and that the first time they had spoken of the incident was on Tuesday.
The sources said RodgersCromartie had left the bench and gone to the locker room in the second half and then returned to the sideline, which is more in line with WFAN’s initial report. And they said that whatever happened on Sunday resulted in McAdoo telling Rodgers-Cromartie he would be inactive in Denver but that he was expected to prepare all week as if he were going to play.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano, then reported that Rodgers-Cromartie had “slammed his helmet down on the sideline, left the team while the game was in progress and went to the locker room with what teammates and coaches understood was with the intent to leave the stadium.”
Graziano’s report also said RodgersCromartie was being punished and fined for walking out on the team’s “recovery day” session last Friday. Graziano said the Giants have no plans to release or trade Rodgers-Cromartie and “instead plan to welcome him back with a clean slate once he has served his punishment.”
Rodgers-Cromartie’s teammates were caught off guard by the
suspension, even though safety Landon Collins suggested there had been an altercation.
“It’s a situation between them two,” Collins said. “I wouldn’t say he left the team, he just felt differently about the altercation that happened.”
Collins said Rodgers-Cromartie was present on Wednesday for treatment and meetings and did not show any signs of frustration.
“He came in with a smile on his face and being the same DRC that he was when he came in,” Collins said. “It surprised us all when (the suspension) happened.”
No player could or would confirm or deny the WFAN report of a player confronting RodgersCromartie on Sunday.
“I’m not talking about that anymore,” offensive lineman Justin Pugh said after a few questions. “I don’t know the whole situation.”
At 0-5, with Odell Beckham Jr. and several players injured and out for the year, Rodgers-Cromartie’s departure is the most obvious sign yet of the Giants unraveling. Eli Apple insisted it’s not. “I don’t think so,” said Apple. “I think the leaders on this team, they’re not going to let anything like that happen.”
But it is hard not to think that it’s too late.