Play­ers say they don’t know specifics of DRC sus­pen­sion

New York Post - - SPORTS - By PAUL SCHWARTZ paul.schwartz@ny­

With so much go­ing wrong off the field, it is al­most tempt­ing to for­get how poor the Gi­ants have been on it. Five games into an al­ready lost sea­son, the Gi­ants are 0-5, their best player (Odell Beck­ham Jr.) is not re­turn­ing fol­low­ing an­kle surgery and one of their more pop­u­lar vet­er­ans (Do­minique Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie) is sus­pended. Un­rest 1, Gi­ants 0. “We al­ways have or­der on the team,’’ de­fen­sive end Olivier Ver­non said. “[Coach Ben McA­doo] does a great job set­ting what we have to do. I don’t know what hap­pened, I don’t know the de­tails, we just move on for­ward.’’

Ver­non said no one has ex­plained to him what went down between McA­doo and Rodgers- Cro­mar­tie that caused the 31-year old cor­ner­back to sud­denly go from im­por­tant player to player non grata. McA­doo has not ad­dressed his play­ers about what hap­pened, cre­at­ing an air of mys­tery around a sag­ging team.

A face-to-face meet­ing did not solve the fes­ter­ing problems.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie ar­rived at the Gi­ants’ prac­tice fa­cil­ity Thurs­day morn­ing and met with McA­doo, who in­formed Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie he is sus­pended in­def­i­nitely. Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie did not meet with gen­eral man­ager Jerry Reese or coowner John Mara. Only McA­doo.

Where this goes from here is any­body’s guess.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was placed on the re­serve/sus­pended list, and the Gi­ants, for now, have moved on, sign­ing cor­ner­back Donte Deayon off their prac­tice squad. The 5-foot-9, 163-pound Deayon has never ap­peared in an NFL reg­u­lar-sea­son game.

In ac­cor­dance with the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment, a team can sus­pend a player for a max­i­mum of four games. Based on Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie’s 2017 salary of $6.98 mil­lion, he stands to lose $410,588 for ev­ery game he is sus­pended. Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie is in the fourth year of a five-year, $35 mil­lion con­tract he signed in 2014, and it is pos­si­ble he has played his last game for the Gi­ants.

Sus­pended play­ers must stay away from the team fa­cil­ity for the du­ra­tion of the sus­pen­sion.

McA­doo an­nounced the sus­pen­sion Wed­nes­day, up­set with how Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie acted and re­acted in the sec­ond half of Sun­day’s 27-22 loss to the Charg­ers. Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was al­ready on thin ice for leav­ing Fri­day’s re­cov­ery ses­sion early and un­ex­cused. McA­doo met with DRC on Tues­day and told him, based on the Fri­day in­frac­tion and leav­ing the field Sun­day, he was go­ing to be benched for Sun­day’s game against in Den­ver. That meant DRC would be one of the seven in­ac­tive play­ers but would be paid, as he would be on the ac­tive ros­ter.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie re­ported for work Wed­nes­day, at­tended a morn­ing meet­ing then left the build­ing. It was af­ter that de­par­ture that McA­doo de­cided the bench­ing would grow into a sus­pen­sion.

Rodgers- Cro­mar­tie l eft the side­line and went into the locker room dur­ing the sec­ond half of the loss to the Charg­ers, ac­cord­ing to some­one with knowl­edge of what tran­spired. He re­turned and did play into the fourth quar­ter be­fore ap­par­ently in­jur­ing his Achilles ten­don. McA­doo said the sus­pen­sion was based on a “vi­o­la­tion of team rules.’’

What, ex­actly did Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie do to de­serve this pun­ish­ment?

“When we can, we han­dle team dis­ci­pline in­ter­nally,’’ said McA­doo, who also de­nied he had any sort of al­ter­ca­tion with DRC dur­ing the game.

As for his meet­ing with Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie on Thurs­day morn­ing, McA­doo said, “It was a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion that will re­main pri­vate.’’

Though the ex­act rea­son why Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was so an­gered is un­clear, it seems rooted in his role within the de­fense. He started against the Charg­ers at an out­side cor­ner­back spot be­cause Eli Ap­ple, who has strug­gled, was benched for the first se­ries. When Ap­ple was re­leased from the side­line and got onto the field, Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie moved into the slot cor­ner role he played all of 2016 and thus far this sea­son.

Asked if DRC has ex­pressed any dis­sat­is­fac­tion with his role, de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Steve Spag­n­uolo said, “No, he’s been great.’’

As for what ap­pears to be tur­moil in the de­fen­sive back­field, Spag­n­uolo said, “The tur­moil is we got guys in­jured, haven’t re­ally found a groove.’’

Janoris Jenk­ins, the other start­ing cor­ner­back, called Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie “a great player, great leader.’’ Jenk­ins re­sponded to re­peated ques­tions about t he s us­pen­sion with “No com­ment.’’

Da­mon “Snacks’’ Har­ri­son said “I don’t have a re­ac­tion’’ when asked about his re­ac­tion to the DRC ban.

“No­body is stray­ing away, feel­ing down or any­thing,’’ Har­ri­son said.

I’M OUT! Gi­ants cor­ner­back An­to­nio Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie has been sus­pended in­def­i­nitely by the team, and it isn’t clear what ex­actly hap­pened between he and coach Ben McA­doo, leav­ing DRC’s locker un­oc­cu­pied (in­set).

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