With buzz growing by the hour regarding a potential Darrelle Revis release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coupled with the fact that Aqib Talib is no longer a member of the team, speculation is that Revis may be coming to the New England Patriots. With that said, there is a cornerback currently on the free agent market who could end up being better than Revis in the right system. That man is cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Rodgers-Cromartie is perhaps the most underrated CB in the NFL today. At 6-foot-2 and 182-pounds with a 4.29 40-yard dash time, he is a physical specimen. Compare that to Revis who is 5-foot-11, 198-pounds, and Cromartie brings size and speed that Revis lacks, which is becoming more important in the league as of late. Cromartie is able to match up against the biggest, fastest receivers in the game with his size and speed, excels in man coverage and has great ball skills as well.
With the exception of the 2011 “dream team” season for the Philadelphia Eagles (which to be honest was a complete nightmare for everyone on the roster that year) he has also backed up his athleticism with elite cornerback play on the football field. In six seasons in the league he has 19 interceptions, 226 tackles, three forced fumbles, 103 pass deflections and five interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Compare that to Revis who in seven years in the league has 21 interceptions, 284 tackles, three forced fumbles, 108 pass deflections, and three interceptions returned for touchdowns. As you can see, their stats are comparable if you consider that Revis has played in one more season than Cromartie.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the Patriots to target Cromartie is because of his durability. In six seasons, he has played in 92 out of a possible 96 games. In his seven seasons, Revis has only played in 95 out of a possible 112 games. Taking into account that Revis tore his ACL in 2012, likely affecting his play last year along with the fact that he will turn 29 in July, Cromartie is a better long-term option for the Patriots.
He is just 27 years old, has no major injuries to his record and possesses size and speed that Revis lacks with similar production on the field. Given the fact that Revis will be paid more than Cromartie as teams will be lining up for his services, the Patriots would be wise to swoop in and sign Cromartie while other teams continue to drool over Revis.