FanPost

Free Agent CB Prospects

 

After the bevy of great, in-depth posts, I’ve decided to spend a little more time developing this one. I want to cover every position of need that can be addressed through free agency, with a different position outlook every week (if you guys like the this first one enough).  This week I will start with the corner position, which I wish there was a comprehensive site to view cornerback stats. CB is our biggest need. I know many will say o-line but look. Without a Elite Defense your o-line doesn’t mean shit. Look at the Packers and Steelers. Two mediocre o-lines. The Steelers are actually starting 4 backups in the Superbowl….more after the jump

Nnamdi Asomugha: Grade A+

                The first thing that should jump out about Nnamdi are the seemingly low interception numbers and pass deflections in the past three seasons. Yet, in each of these seasons he has gained both pro-bowl (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and 1st team all-pro honors (2008, 2010) and 2nd team all-pro (2006, 2009). He was also just recently selected to both Fox’s and USA Today’s all-decade teams. This speaks volumes about the player that he is.  He may be the only true shutdown corner currently in the NFL. I say this because even Revis can be had. Nnamdi has superior size in being 6-2 and 210 pounds and the longest arms you have ever witnessed. He excels in being a press corner. Asomugha allowed just 10 receptions on the 27 passes thrown his way. Most important, Asomugha only gave up one touchdown in the last 3 years (that to Vincent Jackson in 2009). He has amazingly quick feet and great hips-paraphrasing a quote made by Larry Fitzgerald. He has what every cornerback should have, swivel hips and great drive to the ball. He makes great cuts, running routes better than receivers due to his extensive film study. He also does not bite on double moves, which would be nice to see in Philly once in a while.

At 29 years of age, there should be a little digression about giving him a large contract, but in my mind he is the safest FA that has hit the market in recent memory (even Asante was a gamble). His current contract that he just voided was $45.3 million over 3 years with nearly $28.5 million guaranteed.  This made him the richest DB in nfl history. I expect a similar contract to presented to Nnamdi by teams this offseason. Revis signed a 4 year $46 million contract , Deanglo Hall has a six year $55 million contract., Asante has a six year $57.14 million dollar contract. There is good reason to believe that he will receive a more lucrative contract than Revis (as he should). Look for a 3 year deal worth up to $50 million or a 4 year $63 million deal.

                It is important to note that the raiders always played Nnamdi as a RCB, which oddly enough fits perfectly under our system (which can easily change with the new impending D- coordinator). He is very physical as well (press corner) and a willing tackler. Last year, he finished second among corners in tackles for loss (8). This takes away many screen plays and sweeps out of the opponent’s playbook due to the great play of Nnamdi in the run game and being able to diagnose screens due to his high football IQ though there is room for improvement in his run support. Nnamdi is not much of a blitzer though (racking up only 2 sacks in his career) but that’s okay because I would rather have him man 2 man on a blitz look anyway (unless your d-coordinator is McD).  Forced fumbles is something that Nnamdi does not get a lot of either, but that is a tribute of offenses running and throwing to the other side of the field. Keep in mind that the passes defensed is low as well due to the number of targets that he receives. Note that there is no weakness is his game…he is that incredible.

                His likelihood to sign in Philly…82%

Nnamdi Asomugha Highlights #21 Oakland Raiders (via ChessMasterHarvey)

 

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Comb

Total

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FF

2010

Oakland Raiders

14

14

19

17

2

0.0

--

6

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

2009

Oakland Raiders

16

16

34

30

4

0.0

--

4

1

0

0.0

0

0

0

2008

Oakland Raiders

15

15

40

33

7

0.0

--

9

1

0

0.0

0

0

1

2007

Oakland Raiders

15

15

34

32

2

0.0

--

7

1

10

10.0

10

0

0

2006

Oakland Raiders

15

15

50

48

2

1.0

0

11

8

59

7.4

24T

1

1

2005

Oakland Raiders

16

16

60

55

5

0.0

--

14

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

2004

Oakland Raiders

16

7

45

37

8

1.0

--

3

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

2003

Oakland Raiders

15

1

28

20

8

0.0

--

0

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

TOTAL

310

272

38

2.0

0

54

11

69

--

24

1

2

 

Richard Marshall: Grade A

                For one reason or another, people on BGN do not recognize this kid as an elite corner because of their narrow-mindedness about getting Nnamdi (no offense).  He is very young (26) and is starting to prove that he is a top 5 corner in the NFL and someone no one ever talks about. That being said, the price tag on this kid will not be as high as for a Brent Grimes or a Cromartie since they have the hype factor on their side. Look for Marshall to sign a 5 year $26million or 6 year $33 million deal. Another bonus is the fact he stays healthy throughout the length of the season.

                The biggest pro that Marshall has is the fact he doesn’t have any cons that affect his play. The only one I can really think of Is his size. At 5-11, 189 Lbs he is a bit on the smaller side and may have a tougher time against the larger receivers in the league. But one thing that size does not limit is his run support ability. This kid is a straight animal when it comes to tackling. He is a great tackler, delivers huge hits, and loves the contact. Just look at the numbers in terms of tackles on this guy for his career. He out-produces many linebackers in the league. A big number that jumps out at me here are the number of solo tackles he puts up. He does not need help bringing down a TE, RB, or WR.  He is always driving his legs through a tackle, which you never see in corners these days. He can be a major asset in the return game. He is also very good in the blitz game and can reach the quarterback with hurries or a sack. Many might say that is coverage is average but I disagree. He has good hands, fluid hips, and good ball skills. He is extremely athletic as well.  He has great field awareness and is also very dangerous with the ball in his hands. Not much can fool this guy. He diagnoses plays very quickly, especially screen plays.  He is better at playing man to man than zone coverage. In zone coverage it seems as though he does not react quick enough or close as quickly as he does when playing man. To me, he is clearly an elite corner and demands attention from the FO.

Likihood to sign with the Eagles: 60%

Richard Marshall and Chris Gamble (via ojellav89)

 

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Comb

Total

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FF

2010

Carolina Panthers

16

16

88

74

14

1.0

--

7

3

91

30.3

66

0

1

2009

Carolina Panthers

16

16

88

75

13

0.0

--

9

4

47

11.8

28

0

0

2008

Carolina Panthers

16

0

75

68

7

2.0

--

4

1

11

11.0

11

0

0

2007

Carolina Panthers

16

6

89

79

10

1.0

0

10

3

107

35.7

73T

1

0

2006

Carolina Panthers

16

8

82

69

13

1.0

0

11

3

59

19.7

30T

1

2

TOTAL

422

365

57

5.0

0

41

14

315

--

73

2

3

 

Champ Bailey: Grade B+/A-

                After having a subpar season in 2009, Champ bounced back to form and had a great year.  He showed that he is still one of the top corners in the league and can keep up with anyone around the league. He was again selected to this years probowl for his outstanding play. Yet, at the age of 32, his best years are behind him and will likely sign his last contract this offseason.  Champ has great size for a corner at 6-0 and 192 pounds. He has the frame to compete with the larger WRs in the league, which we have a decent amount of in our division (nicks, Austin, Bryant, etc.)  He also has great speed, even at his age. He is also a decent/solid tackler and makes smart moves in the open field. He displays good ball skills (13 pass deflections and 2 int this past season) and would be a great asset on this team. He has never been much of a blitzer, which is fine because has long been a great shutdown corner.  His biggest weakness is the fact that he is 32 and has lost a step or two. Yet, given a 2-3 year contract he should produce some good years. Another plus about Champ is the fact he stays very healthy and injuries are almost never a concern with him. He has missed less than 10 games….his whole career! Anyway, there is not much to be said about champ other than he is basically the same player that earned him his reputation a long time ago.

                Champ is mostly an off coverage cornerback. There are several ramifications due to this. The positives are that he has GREAT closing speed to make a play on either the ball or receiver. This also allows him to sit back and diagnose a play well and with his closing speed make a play. He can run with any receiver and is one of the best deep cover corners as well. He rarely gets beat deep, I mean rarely, and always puts up a great fight for the ball, displaying his elite ball skills. Yet, like Asante, he will gamble on routes and guess wrong. It will be like having two Asante’s on the field, champ being a little more physical and less of a gambler (putting some stress on the safeties). I wish Champ was more physical at the line jamming receivers and helping more so in run support. This could be a problem when teams run screen plays or run right at Champ, though he is more than capable if he takes the initiative to tackle.

                As for his chances of leaving Denver, he may be considering to play for a contender and win one ring , which is really the only thing left to seal his hall of fame career.  Look for Champ to strike either a 2 year deal worth nearly $18 million or a 3 year deal worth $25 million to eventually end his career. The Fact that Champ has played LCB his whole career worries me a little. Shifting to RCB is a whole different game in terms of coverage, footwork, reads, etc. But if anyone can make a quick adjustment, it is Champ due to his pure ability to play corner and prior experience.

Likelihood to sign with the Eagles: 70%

Ultimate Champ Bailey Highlights (Broncos) (via TheVikingsworld)

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Comb

Total

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FF

2010

Denver Broncos

15

15

45

41

4

1.0

--

13

2

0

0.0

0

0

0

2009

Denver Broncos

16

16

74

63

11

0.0

--

15

3

18

6.0

11

0

1

2008

Denver Broncos

9

9

44

39

5

1.0

--

3

1

0

0.0

0

0

2

2007

Denver Broncos

15

15

84

71

13

0.0

--

14

3

3

1.0

3

0

0

2006

Denver Broncos

16

16

85

73

12

0.0

0

11

10

162

16.2

70T

1

0

2005

Denver Broncos

14

14

64

59

5

0.0

0

15

8

139

17.4

65T

2

1

2004

Denver Broncos

16

16

81

68

13

0.0

--

9

3

0

0.0

0

0

0

2003

Washington Redskins

16

16

71

67

4

0.0

--

7

2

2

1.0

2

0

1

2002

Washington Redskins

16

16

68

62

6

0.0

--

19

3

2

0.7

2

0

0

2001

Washington Redskins

16

16

50

48

2

0.0

--

14

3

17

5.7

12

0

1

2000

Washington Redskins

16

16

--

--

--

0.0

0

0

5

48

9.6

48

0

0

1999

Washington Redskins

16

16

--

--

--

1.0

0

0

5

55

11.0

59T

1

0

TOTAL

666

591

75

3.0

0

120

48

446

--

70

4

6

 

 

Brent Grimes: Grade B/B+

                Brent Grimes had a breakout year for the falcons this season, starting at LCB in all 16 games after starting the only 8 games all of last year. I rate Grimes this high due to several things. To begin with he is still a young player (27) with his best years ahead of him. If you have ever seen him play you will understand what a freak athlete this kid is- Purely amazing. He has great hip movement, plays with great leverage, good speed, and can track down deep balls. Check out the video below and take notice of his vertical leap. One thing must be said though. He is not a shutdown corner and does not have the greatest speed. But that being said, he is one of the best all around corners in the NFL. I have rarely seen him sent on a CB blitz (0 sacks in his career), but think he has the ability to be a real force due to his great instincts and playmaking ability. He is very solid against the run as well and a sure tackler. He posted a stupid amount of tackles this season (87) with 76 of them being solo stops, which is very impressive. Many may say he is too small for a corner, listed at 5-10" and 181 pounds, but he understands angles and the game so well (plus his vert) that his size really is not an issue. He came away with 5 interceptions and deflected 23 passes, which lead the league. It is also interesting to note that Grimes lead the league in targets in 114, but was able to hold his own as he proved.

                Grimes was named a probowl alternate and then finally was placed on the NFC team once the packers advanced to the superbowl (Charles woodson). That being said, he will look for a decent size contract this offseason. Look for him to sign either a 5 year deal worth nearly $36million or a six year deal worth $42.1 million. These figures put him into the range of corners such as Corey Webster (6 year $43.5 million) and terrance newman (6 year $50 million). I would be very surprised if the Falcons did not resign grimes but if they did not, I would not mind him here if we do not make a play on NA. I think the biggest pro of Grimes is his age. At only 27, he has his best football still ahead of him. An important aspect about Grimes is his unbelievable work ethic and high strive to become an elite player.

Likelihood to sign with the Eagles: 13%

Brent Grimes is a BEAST (via lazyboiAndy)

 

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Comb

Total

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FF

2010

Atlanta Falcons

16

16

87

76

11

0.0

--

23

5

84

16.8

36

0

0

2009

Atlanta Falcons

16

8

66

62

4

0.0

--

13

6

17

2.8

11

0

0

2008

Atlanta Falcons

12

6

34

30

4

0.0

--

6

1

25

25.0

25

0

0

2007

Atlanta Falcons

2

0

12

11

1

0.0

--

0

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

TOTAL

199

179

20

0.0

0

42

12

126

--

36

0

0

 

Antonio Cromartie: Grade B

 

First off left me just say I do not really want cromartie but at the same time I would not mind him here for several reasons. Over the past several days Revis has made it clear that he wants him to stay in New York but there is the issue of money concerned with the Jets organization. There is money to be dished out to several key free agents there and Antonio may be the odd man and become a free agent. They also drafted Kyle Wilson last year in the first round and may feel like it may be his time to start, making Cromartie expendable. He does come with a little baggage but if anyone can help straighten out Cromartie with some off the field issues it is the eagles organization. Look for him to command a contract with the same type of money as Brent Grimes as stated above (5 year $36 million or 6 year $42 million).  The fact that he is only 26 years old will most likely ensure that he is signed to a multiyear deal that will extend him to his early 30s.

To start off you must say something about this guys measurables. He is 6-2 and 210 Lbs and has the frame to put up with the bigger WRs in the league. Like Nnamdi, he also has very long arms that contribute to his playmaking abilities.  Yet he does struggle with the smaller and speedier WRs  that run short and intermediate routes but is very effective defending against the long ball. The thing about Cromartie is, he has many pros but at the same time has many cons. He has great speed for his size. He runs with long strides that allow him to get down the field and close in a hurry. He can make what looks like a mildy easy catch into either a deflection or interception. He has great playmaking ability. He has very good hands and can make the tough pass break ups and the interceptions (remember the one against the colts?).  He had 17 pass break ups which is a great number and a tribute to his coverage abilities. He also has the ability to take the ball all the way back with the ball in his hands due to his speed and athleticism. He could also double as a kick return specialist, which would also be nice since we are lacking in that department dearly. As good as this may all seem, there has to be a discussion about his flaws. The first thing that is evident is the fact that he gets out of position a lot. This is attributed to the fact he has very sloppy footwork and rigid hips. He often gets out of position in an attempt to make a big play which can backfire on him and lead to big plays over the top. He does not play much bump and run and will play off, which fuels smaller elite WRs to have their way with him. He is in no way a shut down corner but is a very good starter, perhaps the best starting RCB in the league. Over the years, look for him to try to improve his overall technique to become a more well rounded corner.  As for run support he is a decent tackler and not really a reliability. He is also a non factor in the blitz game.  The biggest knock on him is the fact that he relies too much on his athleticism and not enough on his technique.

Likihood the Eagles sign him: 30%

Antonio Cromartie #31 (via LadainianSmith2189)

 

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Comb

Total

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FF

2010

New York Jets

15

15

42

41

1

0.0

--

17

3

75

25.0

66

0

0

2009

San Diego Chargers

16

16

33

31

2

0.0

--

10

3

17

5.7

16

0

0

2008

San Diego Chargers

16

15

64

60

4

0.0

0

9

2

66

33.0

52T

1

0

2007

San Diego Chargers

16

8

44

39

5

0.0

0

18

10

144

14.4

70T

1

0

2006

San Diego Chargers

16

0

24

20

4

0.0

--

4

--

--

0.0

--

--

0

TOTAL

207

191

16

0.0

0

58

18

302

--

70

2

0

 

 

 

Notable Coners that were left out:

Carlos Rodgers-  He may just have the worst hands out of any  number one corner in the NFL (Terrance Newman is up there as well). Along with that he is at the age of 29. Though he has been a solid corner for a number of years I do not think he is worth the money. If we are trying to sign a RCB, I would rather prefer to sign a star caliber corner than an above-average one. He also gets beat deep a lot, which he can not afford with Nate Allen as our FS.

Johnathan Joseph-  It is very likely that he will receive the franchise tag from the Bengals in the near future. He is very young (26) and has a lot of great potential but has been very inconsistent. He had a great 2009 campaign but took a step back this year. This scares me as we do not fully know what type of corner he really is and if he will ever pan out. I am not down for a prospect to start at RCB.

Ronde Barber- He is 36 years old and there is no reason it even think about getting him. He has lost at least two steps. It is also very likely that he will be resigned to his last contract in Tamba Bay as well, especially since Aqib Talib went down with a season ending injury and they might need an insurance policy.

Ike Taylor- He has done it all at the corner position for the Steelers within the last 5-6 years, helping them build the best defense in the NFL over that time span. And I see them continuing this trend as long as they have a corner to supplement their blitzes. That is why I can see the Steelers resigning this man, even though he has lost a step. He is simply too valuable to that team.

Josh Wilson- He was a very valuable asset to the ravens this year and I can’t see them giving up their best corner since they really do not have any one else on their roster that is near the same caliber as Josh Wilson. Many will remember him for giving up the game winning touchdown against the falcons but in reality it was offensive pass interference (which Roddy White never gets called for).

Eric Wright- With not much really going on for the browns in terms of playmakers, I really think that the browns will resign this kid. He is young and has the potential to be a very very good corner in this league, even elite. He is a good cover corner who can make plays in the run game. They have no other free agents that are really worth resigning. How could the browns let him go?

 

 

 

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