[Update by JasonB, 03/14/13 4:44 PM EDT ] Maybe I should have mentioned Cary Williams? Eagles signed him today. I would put him in the same category as Sean Smith and Derek Cox.
The Eagles moved quickly at the start of the free agency period to add a corner, but they didn't go after the top of the market. Instead they chose to go for a guy many thought was underrated in Bradley Fletcher.
However, that move was really just a blip on the corner market. Fletcher didn't get big money and the price for the top CBs on the market still hadn't been set. Today, that seems to be changing.
Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, coming off a terrible 2012, signed a one year, $5 million deal in Denver. Pretty big money, but only one year makes it pretty low risk for Denver.
Derek Cox signed with San Diego for 4 years, $20 million. So the same per year as DRC but longer. Cox had a better year in 2012 than DRC but is still a pretty average-ish corner.
Chris Houston signed a 5 year, $25 million deal with the Lions. Again, $5 million average annual value. Houston is a better player coming off a better year than anyone else on this list, so he deserved the money.
Sean Smith was the most recent CB to sign, inking a 3-year $18 million deal with $11 million guaranteed. Aside from DRC, he's actually the worst corner on this list but his size and athleticism gives him arguably the most upside. He'll make $6 million annually. A lot for a guy that the most combined first downs and touchdowns last year.
So the price is pretty clear. The one thing to note is that none of these deals are really huge and are mostly shorter term. Even the Houston contract if you really break it down is more like a 3 year deal. The money somewhat reflects the market in that there's a lot of decent corners on the market, but no real stars or Pro Bowl caliber players.
Having said that, the best corners on the market may not even have signed yet. Keenan Lewis had a better year for the Steelers than anyone else on this list. He's reportedly closing in on a deal with the Saints.
Brent Grimes is maybe the most talented guy on the market and has a Pro Bowl under his belt, but is coming off a year where he missed 15 games. He's still out there.
Aqib Talib is the biggest name left on the market and probably won't get much more than the $5 million going rate given that he's a character risk and frankly, not as good as his reputation. He's not a bad corner, but he's pretty average.
Antoine Cason, who the Chargers have evidently replaced with Cox, is out there still. Frankly, despite the fact that I was lukewarm on Cox he's still an upgrade over Cason who was not very good last season in San Diego.
Finally, Antoine Winfield is the most accomplished of all these guys and is coming off a good year. Problem is he's going to turn 36 this summer and is really just a slot guy. He's a very good corner even still, but you have to wonder whether the Eagles would be interested in a short term solution like him at this stage in their rebuild.
Then again there's always the draft. Dee Milliner could be sitting there at #4