It's a story about smiles, in good times and bad. It's about do-overs and second chances.
Oh, and it's about a backpack. Put it all together and you have the story of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Broncos and what each can get from the other during the upcoming season.
"Bottom line, there isn't too much that gets me down," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I'm free-spirited. I try to make people laugh. I'm a happy-go-lucky guy, and I think coming here will be a good thing — a real good thing."
While the Broncos try to balance a long-term vision of what kind of roster John Elway wants to build for Pat Bowlen's team — a draft-fueled depth chart with homegrown players that keeps the team competitive over the long haul — signing Rodgers-Cromartie was a win-now move.
The Broncos get an athletic player who is only 27 years old and has been to the Pro Bowl on a relatively low-risk, one-year deal. Already, as the Broncos work through their offseason program, they have installed Rodgers-Cromartie as the starter at right cornerback, opposite Champ Bailey.
Rodgers-Cromartie, meanwhile, gets a chance to regroup after two "what happened to him?" seasons in Philadelphia. He comes to a playoff contender that took the tough-love approach during the free agency courtship.