Yardbarker Horiz

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Free Agent cornerbacks update

Last month, I took a look at possible cornerback free agent targets for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2012 free agency period. The prospects of those players being removed from the market with the franchise tag were listed as well. All teams which have elected to use their franchise tags have assigned them, so here is the update:

CB Lardarius Webb, Age 25, Ravens
The Ravens franchised RB Ray Rice as expected, so Webb will be a free agent.

CB Brandon Carr, Age 26, Chiefs
As expected, the Chiefs franchised WR Dwayne Bowe so Carr will become a free agent.
CB Tracy Porter, Age 26, Saints
The Saints franchised QB Drew Brees, meaning Porter will be a free agent.

CB William Middleton, Age 26, Jaguars
The Jaguars, like the Buccaneers, franchised their outstanding placekicker Josh Scobee.  Middleton will enter the free agent market.

CB Richard Marshall, Age 27, Cardinals
The Cardinals, as expected, franchised DE Calais Campbell, so Marshall will become a free agent.
CB Terrell Thomas, Age 27, Giants
The Giants franchised P Steve Weatherford, only the fourth time in history a punter has been franchised.  As such, Thomas will enter the free agent market.

CB William Gay, Age 27, Steelers
The Steelers have not elected to use their franchise tag this season as they work themselves into a more cap-friendly position.  As a result, Gay will become a free agent.
CB Corey Graham, Age 27, Bears
As expected, the Bears franchised RB Matt Forte, leaving Graham available to the free agent market.

All these experienced young corners will be available for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to negotiate with when the Free Agency market opens on March 13th. Tampa Bay could be looking for up to two new corners to take the place of Aqib Talib and/or Ronde Barber this offseason. The question now becomes Value: which of these players can be signed for a price which matches their play on the field?

For comparison, the Atlanta Falcons have franchised CB Brent Grimes to the tune of $10.6 million.  Clearly these players will command some hefty payout.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must be careful, however.  They have some pricey young players to re-sign next year (provided they confirm their worth). Giving up a young, promising, on-the-roster talent because the team signed a high-priced corner this year is trade-off which is hard to balance.  Expect the Buccaneers to be mentioned in negotiations for some of these players. 

Just don't expect them to overpay.

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