JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is 27. The Denver Broncos say he's played at a Pro Bowl level this season. And he's on the doorstep of a Super Bowl appearance that will be followed by unrestricted free agency.
But Rodgers-Cromartie re-affirmed Monday he would be prepared to retire if the Broncos won Super Bowl XLVIII.
Rodgers-Cromartie said he's told teammates of his plan and that they're not sure they believe him.
"I don't think they think I'm serious ... I'm serious," Rodgers-Cromartie said.
He added: "Coming out of college I gave myself a five-year goal. If I could just make it five years, I would be all right. Coming from a small school and of course playing six, it has been a long journey and I am weighing my options. I am still a young guy and not a Champ Bailey or Peyton Manning who have a legacy of going out on top. I had a goal of five years and I reached that. I will see how I feel after the game."
The Broncos signed Rodgers-Cromartie to what was technically a two-year, $10 million deal last March. But language in the deal shows the second year will be voided five days after the Super Bowl. Rodgers-Cromartie got a $4.2 million signing bonus to go with a $800,0000 guaranteed base salary this season.
After Champ Bailey suffered a left foot injury in a preseason loss to Seattle (he was limited to five games in the regular season), Rodgers-Cromartie became one of the Broncos' most important offseason acquisitions. He finished the regular season with 31 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
Rodgers-Cromartie also is a free spirit, known to have used a "Dora the Explorer" backpack during his time with the Arizona Cardinals.
"I still have it somewhere," Rodgers-Cromartie said earlier this season.