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DRC talks retirement: What we learned Monday

NEW YORK -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is threatening to join the list of NFL players who surprisingly walked away from the game in their prime. The six-year veteran sounds serious about wanting to retire.

The Denver Broncos' best cornerback is no Barry Sanders or Jim Brown, but he could join a list of players that includes Robert Smith, Jake Plummer, Tarik Glenn and Aaron Schobel -- solid players who lost their passion for the game.

My first thought after hearing DRC's comments: there's some news during Super Bowl week! The next thought: his agent is going to be furious. Rodgers-Cromartie was one of Broncos executive John Elway's great free-agent bargains this offseason and was set to strike it rich on the open market. He's always been a uniquely talented cornerback, but his desire to be great was loudly questioned in Philadelphia.

It's hard to imagine Rodgers-Cromartie actually going through with his retirement if the Broncos win. It's rare to see players pass up guaranteed millions, and he would make plenty as one of the top cornerbacks available.

Rodgers-Cromartie's statement could cost him money no matter what he decides, as he might struggle to get a multiyear deal. But let's be honest: teams are always willing to pay for talent.

Here's what else we learned Monday in New York and New Jersey:

  1. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is going to be a popular man at Media Day. He threatens to be the breakout star of this week on and off the field. (Other than Max Unger's beard.)

Bennett on whether the defensive line is overlooked: "I don't know if we're overlooked. They know us pretty well at Wells Fargo."

Bennett on the Super Bowl scene: "It's just like being in the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. All I see is cameras, lights and chocolates. ... and I see some chocolate ladies."

  1. Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is a fun guy to listen to, but he's not going to trash talk. He called it "pointless" and added that "boasting makes you tired."

Thomas gave safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Shermantheir due Monday, calling Earl Thomas the best safety in the league. His respect for teammate Peyton Manning borders on fear.

"I've been nervous around him since I met him. And I'm still nervous. I don't want to mess up," Thomas said.

  1. Thomas' mother and grandmother won't be watching him play in person. Instead, they'll watch from a federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla., where his grandmother is serving a life sentence and his mother will be until 2017.

Neither has ever seen him play a football game in person, USA Today reported.

"That drives me more, to know that they're in there and they're watching me," Thomas said. "I try to go out and play my best, because I know they're going to talk about it to all the people in the jailhouse."

  1. Pete Carroll said he was open to the medicinal value of marijuana in order to potentially treat NFL players.

"We have to continue to explore and compete to find ways that are going to make our game a better game and take care of our players in the best way possible. The fact that it's in the world of medicine is obviously something the Commissioner realizes and him making the expression that we need to follow the information and the research absolutely I'm in support of," Carroll said.

"Regardless of what other stigmas may be involved, I think we have to do this because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions."

  1. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's reaction to the latest Pro Bowl indicates that the game is not going away for a long time.
  1. Marc Sessler did a good job talking with the Seahawks about whether they could survive a shootout at the Super Bowl. And so I'm going to link to it twice in one paragraph.
  1. Marshawn Lynch told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver that he hasn't decided whether he's going to show up to Media Day. That would be a potential six-figure decision to skip the festivities. To quote another famous writer, Silver did the damn thang with this column. No one else gets this kind of access.
  1. The deep freeze is about to hit New York and New Jersey, but things should improve by Sunday.
  1. Basically every cold weather city has a shot at a Super Bowl if this week goes well, except for Green Bay.
  1. Knowshon Moreno isn't sure what he did to bring on LeSean McCoy's scorn.
  1. In other stories I would appreciate you reading: Dan Hanzus gave a loving guide to New York, and I broke down how the Broncos' and Seahawks' rosters werebuilt.
  1. And in non-Super Bowl news, the Dallas Cowboysadded yet another cook to the kitchen. Problems solved.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back Tuesday, arbitrarily deciding who wins Media Day.

*We handed out awards for the 2014 coaching class and talked all the latest headlines in the latest "Around The League Podcast." *

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