2011 NFL Free Agency Outlook | Cornerbacks
We’re onto the cornerback position, where there are still a few elite corners that should hit the open market, along with a handful of solid corners who can still play as number one corners.
Check out where all the top free agent cornerbacks rank for the 2011 NFL Free Agency period:
1. Nnamdi Asomugha (Oakland Raiders)
Asomugha is the best corner available, if not the best corner in the entire league. The Raiders were foolish to allow him to get out of his contact, and need to do everything humanly possibly to lock him up. He’ll certainly field a ton of major offers from a number of contending teams.
2. Antonio Cromartie (New York Jets)
Cromartie isn’t necessarily the most consistent or smartest cornerback, but with his size and instincts, he has the potential to be as good as he wants to be. When he’s playing along side a talent like Darrelle Revis like he did in 2010, he’s an absolute terror. The Jets should be more proactive in re-signing him.
Update: Jets have reached out to Cromartie.
3. Jonathan Joseph (Cincinnati Bengals)
Joseph is much younger (27) than the two guys ahead of him, and is an elite cover corner, but he’s not quite on their level. Still, he’s among the best in the league, and should field some nice offers. He is rumored to be interested in sticking with Cincy, but it will be interesting if he can ignore some of the high-dollar offers.
Update: Bengals focused on re-signing Joseph.
5. Brandon Carr (RFA) (Kansas City Chiefs)
Carr is only 25 and is truly one of the better young corners. KC had a weak secondary for a few years, so they need to make sure they don’t revert to that by losing Carr.
6. Brent Grimes (RFA) (Atlanta Falcons)
Grimes isn’t your usual big name cornerback, but he does well in coverage and makes some really huge plays. Atlanta needs to hang onto him.
7. Carlos Rogers (Washington Redskins)
Rogers still has all the talent he had when he came into the league, but injuries have bogged down his play. If he can stay healthy, he’s a heck of a number two corner.
8. Eric Wright (Cleveland Browns)
Wright is a great physical corner with solid ball skills. He’s still just 26, and paired with the improving Joe Haden, could give the Browns a very solid secondary.
9. Chris Carr (Baltimore Ravens)
Carr is another small-name guy that simply broke-out into the right market. He has good coverage ability, but there’s some concern that he’s a “contract year” player, and may not live up to his new paycheck.
10. Richard Marshall (Carolina Panthers)
Marshall is a quality corner with solid potential that simply suffered through a bad season. Not having a great supporting cast and a lack of a pass rush certainly didn’t help his efforts.
11. Kelly Jennings (Seattle Seahawks)
Jennings has a ton of talent but has just never been a very consistent cornerback in coverage. He can still grow into an elite corner, but Seattle’s secondary as a whole has been shaky for a while, so they may want to move into a different direction.
12. Chris Houston (Detroit Lions)
Houston has talent and is only 26, but was part of a terrible Detroit secondary. He could fit with a lot of teams as a quality number two corner, but should continue to struggle as the top guy.
13. Drayton Florence (Buffalo Bills)
Florence is a very solid number one corner, but he is 30 and doesn’t do much in terms of run support. Strictly going by coverage, he shouldn’t have any problem finding work in 2011.
14. Brian Williams (Atlanta Falcons)
Williams still has the ability to be a solid corner, but at 32 and with a history of injuries, his best days are behind him.
15. Fabian Washington (Baltimore Ravens)
Washington has always had great talent and speed, but he just isn’t consistent.
16. Kyle Arrington (ERFA) (New England Patriots)
Arrington doesn’t appear to have the makings of a top corner, but is good enough to hang as a nickel corner.
17. Phillip Buchanon (Washington Redskins)
Buchanon is a prime example of a speed corner gone wrong. He still has great speed and tons of talent, but he’s never put it all together. He even struggles as a nickel corner, so his days trying to be a number two guy may be over.
Even at 33, Bailey is still a top-10 corner in the league, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Even when he does start to miss a step, there is little doubt that he could transition into becoming a star safety. Denver is ahead of the rest of us in both beliefs, as they already re-signed Bailey.
Taylor is 31 and has never been a model of consistency in coverage, but he generally locks it down near the red-zone. He’s perfect for Pittsburgh’s scheme, but his age could have them letting him walk.
Routt got abused at times in 2010, which undeniably was a result of teams rarely testing the unbeatable Asomugha. He is still a very talented corner with considerable upside. Oakland has looked past his penalty tendencies, re-signing him to a three-year deal.
Barber is 36 and somehow still getting it done. Tampa Bay re-signed him to a one-year deal, which will likely be his last.