Tuesday, March 19, 2013
NFC South poised for run on CBs
By Pat Yasinskas
We’re a week into free agency and it appears as if all four NFC South teams still are looking for a starting cornerback.
In the case of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they might even be looking for two. The New Orleans Saints already signed Keenan Lewis, but they also are pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha. The Bucs have shown some interest in trading for Darrelle Revis.
A Revis deal might take some time, but I’ve got a hunch we’re about to see a run on cornerbacks in the NFC South. Asomugha is expected to make a decision soon and, if he lands in New Orleans, the Saints’ defense suddenly gets a lot better.
But the market is shrinking fast and NFC South teams could be running out of time to fill some big needs. Let’s turn to our Insider Free-Agency Tracker and look at the remaining cornerbacks.
As I see it, there are five strong cornerbacks left in free agency – Brent Grimes, DeAngelo Hall, Quentin Jammer, Asomugha and Antoine Winfield. After that, you get into a group of guys that come with questions.
Aside from Asomugha and Revis, I think the key to how cornerbacks in the NFC South shake out could be Grimes. The Falcons want to re-sign him. But the Bucs also are interested and there could be other teams involved.
If Atlanta can’t keep Grimes, the Falcons have to go out and get another No. 1 cornerback because Asante Samuel and Robert McClain are nice as No. 2 and No. 3 guys, but nothing more. The Bucs could score a major coup if they somehow could land both Revis and Grimes.
The Saints would be set at cornerback if they can get Asomugha. If they can’t, I suspect they’ll quickly try to land one of the other top cornerbacks.
That leaves Carolina. The Panthers have shown some interest in re-signing Captain Munnerlyn and that may happen. But Munnerlyn isn’t a No. 1 cornerback. Carolina could roll the dice and try to get a No. 1 cornerback in the draft. But, even though the Panthers have salary-cap issues, I could see them getting creative and signing one of the better free-agent cornerbacks because they have to keep up with the rest of the NFC South.