Thursday, March 28, 2013
What happens if Browns lose Grimes?
By Jamison Hensley
The Browns wanted to lure Brent Grimes to Cleveland so much they sent a private jet to collect him for his free-agent visit March 16. Now, there's a report that the cornerback could land somewhere else.
Grimes, who also visited Miami, could reach a deal there "soon," according to CBS Sports. If Grimes checks out medically -- he tore his Achilles tendon in last season's opener -- he is the best cornerback left in free agency. The Browns could team him with Joe Haden, giving them one of the best corner tandems in the league. If Grimes signs with the Dolphins or elsewhere, the Browns will have a major hole at that spot.
It's surprising that Cleveland hasn't been more aggressive in trying to replace last season's starter, Sheldon Brown, who isn't expected to be re-signed. The other top free-agent corners -- Sean Smith (Kansas City), Aqib Talib (New England) and Chris Houston (Detroit) -- are gone. There is a dropoff from Grimes to the other defenders still on the market.
Here are some of the corners left in free agency (and it's not a promising group):
Antoine Winfield, Minnesota: He could accept an offer from another team before making a visit to the Redskins. Winfield, who will turn 36 in June, has reportedly drawn interest from two other teams (which haven't been identified). While his play is on the decline, Winfield had a strong season in 2012 and has enough athleticism to be an effective starter.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia: The one-time best corner in the game is reportedly torn between playing for the 49ers and the Saints. It looks like he'll be off the market soon.
DeAngelo Hall, Washington: There were reports that he had signed with Detroit, but the Lions aren't interested in him. Hall has received very little attention. He sometimes takes too many risks to make a play, but he is a solid tackler and is very experienced.
Quentin Jammer, San Diego: He is a physical, durable corner who has drawn no interest and could be signed for cheap. The drawback with Jammer is his lack of speed. He's at his best in press coverage and likes to deliver big hits.
Mike Jenkins, Dallas: He has been linked to the Raiders and is scheduled to visit the Jaguars on Thursday. Jenkins was relegated to being Dallas' dime back last season, and it would be a surprise to see him become a starter again.
Tracy Porter, Denver: Porter visited the Saints and Raiders this week and should make a decision soon. He is only 26 and has a good feel for the game. But there is some concern after seizures and a concussion ruined his 2012 season.
If the Browns don't address cornerback in free agency, they'll be forced to take one in the early rounds of the draft. Cleveland has shown an interest in the top cornerbacks in this year's draft. Alabama's Dee Milliner and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu, formerly known as the "Honey Badger," are both scheduled for pre-draft visits, according to The Plain Dealer. Milliner could drop to the Browns at the No. 6 overall pick, and Mathieu is projected to go in the third round.