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Corey Ballentine has recovered http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/anthony-zettel-jersey , at least physically, to the point where he can practice without limitations.But he’s always going to carry a weight on his heart.The Giants rookie cornerback talked for the first time Sunday about the night he was shot, a draft-night incident which claimed the life of his Washburn College teammate Dwane Simmons.“I don’t want to go into detail but just a tragic accident. Not an accident but just a tragic event. I lost my best friend because of it,” Ballentine said, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “I don’t think it was anything I had to do with it. I just happened to be there. Nothing that I could control.“To this day, I just kind of try not to think about it too much because there is nothing I can do at this point. I know the police are doing the best to make some peace with the families and bring justice to the families as well.”First-degree murder and attempted murder charges have been filed against an 18-year-old man in Kansas in relation to the shooting.Now, Ballentine has a football career to try to build. The sixth-round pick missed some offseason practice time after being shot in the rear, but has also worked with a therapist to deal with the emotional damage. He said his goal is to “play my best,” to honor Simmons.“Yeah, because I think he helped me get here every step of the way http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/jahlani-tavai-jersey ,” Ballentine said. “When I was on the field by myself he would come out there and join me. I feel like I’m kind of doing it for both of us. I know if he was here now, he would love to see where I’m at and how I’m doing and want to visit and all that stuff. Like I said, I spent the most time with him, he was my best friend. So I’m just going to keep him in my heart but at the same time strive for the goals of the team and my personal goals and do my best.”He said he was appreciative of the support he has gotten from the Giants organization, who gave him time to work through his injuries and grief. Now, he wants to concentrate on his job as much as he can, while carrying the memory of his friend. ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie abruptly retired Tuesday, two days after not playing a single snap on defense for the second time this season.The two-time Pro Bowl defensive back made the announcement on social media , not long after notifying team officials of his decision to call it quits after seven games with the Raiders.“Just a shocker to see him gone because he was a great teammate and a great player for us http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com/kahale-warring-jersey ,” cornerback Rashaan Melvin said. “He showed us how to cherish the game and approach it the right way. He’s always dancing, always rapping, always singing. Just showing his personality no matter what, through the ups and downs.”Rodgers-Cromartie’s retirement came hours before the NFL trade deadline, during which the Raiders were surprisingly quiet.Oakland had been one of the busiest teams over the past two months, acquiring three first-round picks in deals that sent pass-rush specialist Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears days before the season opener and wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys last week.There had been speculation the Raiders might be willing to make additional deals but the deadline passed without one. Outside of Rodgers-Cromartie retiring and the team activating James Cowser from the practice squad, Oakland made no other roster moves.“We know who we have going forward and it’s on us to go out there and execute and play well and try and stick around,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “You want to make sure that you’re around, what’s the plan, all those things. I think that was on a lot of guys’ minds. Just knowing that that’s almost over with and we’re just playing ball http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/bobby-okereke-jersey , it’s nice for our guys.”The 16th-overall pick in 2008, Rodgers-Cromartie played for five teams during his 11-year career. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2009 with the Arizona Cardinals and again in 2015 with the New York Giants.The 32-year-old was signed by the Raiders just before the regular season to add experience to a secondary that was in the midst of an overhaul.Rodgers-Cromartie was on the field for 20 defensive plays in Week 1 but had been playing mostly on special teams since then. He did not play on defense during Sunday’s 42-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts but took 22 snaps on special teams.Rodgers-Cromartie is the second NFL cornerback to retire since the start of the season. Vontae Davis of the Buffalo Bills stunned his teammates when he announced his decision at halftime of their Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.“When something like that happens, I’d rather it happen that way than halftime of a game,” Carr said. “I understand what he’s doing, I understand why. Coach addressed it with us and he said, ‘Text him, everyone show him love, congratulate him on a great career.’ There’s no hard feelings at all.”
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