Just when you thought the Denver Broncos were done on day two of free agency, they sneak one more in before calling it a day. Cornerback Domnique Rodgers-Cromartie agreed to terms with the Broncos late Wednesday.
The signing of Cromartie put a cap on an impressive day for John Elway and the personnel department. The big catch, of course, was wide receiver Wes Welker, but he was not the only one. The Broncos also added linebacker Stewart Bradley and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. Those four join offensive guard Louis Vasquez who signed on Tuesday.
Cromartie is a 6’2” corner with a lot of speed. He struggled at times with the Philadelphia Eagles but that was a dysfunctional mess from day one. Before last season, he was considered one of the best corners in the game. If he can get back to anywhere close to the level he played at when he was with the Arizona Cardinals, then his signing is a steal. Cromartie will fit nicely into a secondary playing opposite Champ Bailey. The move also allows the Broncos to move third-year cornerback Chris Harris inside to cover the slot receiver, where he is the most effective.
It’s a must in today’s NFL to have guys who can cover and the Broncos now have three–four if you throw in Tony Carter, who had a very good season in 2012. When you can combine cornerbacks who can cover with a pass rush, you have the makings of a dominant defense. It still has to be proven on the field, but the parts are there for defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
The Broncos, most likely, are done with their big moves in free agency, although they surprised everyone over the first two days, so you never know. The big question that remains before the draft in April is the Elvis Dumervil situation. We should have an answer on this front by the weekend and Dumervil has to be doing some serious thinking.
The free agent market for players like Dumervil has been very low, making it highly unlikely that any other team would come close to what he is making with the Broncos. He also has to be looking at the moves the team has made and saying; I want to be a part of this.
If Dumervil and the Broncos come to an agreement, then the Broncos are probably done until the draft. If he decides to play hardball, then the Broncos will let him go and look to sign a pass rusher in free agency.
Championships are not won in March but the Broncos generally, and Elway specifically, deserve a ton of credit for playing to win. No matter how you frame it, Wednesday was an impressive day at Dove Valley.
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