Chris Wesseling

Offseason Low Down

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Free Agency Primer: DBs

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Along with Gregg Rosenthal and Evan Silva, I will be producing free agency primers throughout the week. This edition will feature cornerbacks and safeties.

Previous editions:

  • Silva: Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
  • Wesseling: Linebackers
  • Rosenthal: Quarterbacks

    Unrestricted Free Agent Cornerbacks

    Best Available: Bryant McFadden

    McFadden, 27, was arguably the premier corner on the best pass defense in football last season. The Steelers would like to keep him in black and gold, but they won't want to back up the Brinks truck with William Gay set to take his place. While he's not a true shutdown corner, McFadden is not only solid across the board but also in his football prime.

    Prediction: Broncos

    Best Building Block: Ronald Bartell

    Considered a reach when he was drafted out of Howard in the second-round back in 2006, Bartell has emerged as the Rams' answer for bigger No. 1 wideouts. While he won't rack up interceptions, he offers a nice size/speed package with sure tackling ability. Just 27 years old, he joins McFadden as the top two corners available in a weak market.

    Prediction: Rams

    Bang for the Buck: Leigh Bodden

    Bodden and the Tampa-2 zone defense were an ill-conceived match from the beginning, but the 27-year-old is a quality press corner. Just ask Chad Ocho Cinco and Marvin Lewis from Bodden's time in Cleveland. He should come relatively cheaply after a disastrous season with the winless Lions, but Bodden could easily end up as the best of a weak free agent bunch.

    Prediction: Dolphins

    Bust Alert: DeAngelo Hall

    The original "Big Hat, No Cattle," Hall has been talking better than he's been playing ever since he entered the league. Despite Carlos Rogers' impressive play in keying one of the best pass defenses in the league early last season, the Redskins decided they preferred Hall's alleged playmaking ability. Now they're set to repeat Al Davis' mistake from last season and hand Hall a mega deal that they will soon regret.

    Prediction: Redskins

    Best of the Rest

    1. Jabari Greer – The Bills recently offered Greer a five-year deal worth $20 million, but he's said to be seeking $7-8 million per year. Even in a weak market, that's a ridiculous amount for an average corner. With 2008 first rounder Leodis McKelvin ready to step in, Greer will likely find a new home this offseason.

    2. Domonique Foxworth - Foxworth, 26, played a lot of safety with Denver before arriving in Atlanta in a mid-season trade. He immediately stabilized the left corner position for the Falcons and was a major reason for their improved pass defense. Atlanta wants to re-sign him, but he won't come cheaply as one of the better names on the market.

    3. Andre' Goodman – Goodman, 31, regained his starting position and put in a strong year, leading the Dolphins with five picks. Miami will try to get younger at cornerback, so Goodman may price himself out of their plans.

    4. Phillip Buchanon - A bust during his days in Oakland and Houston, Buchanon was arguably Tampa's best corner last season. He's tight with new coach Raheem Morris and his re-signing is considered a priority in Tampa.

    5. Dre Bly – Bly was considered a top-flight corner as recently as two years ago, but the production never matched the hype provided by his interceptions. He was bust during his two years in Denver and can no longer play one on one coverage without getting burnt.

    Others: Keiwan Ratliff, Pacman Jones, Fakir Brown, Drayton Florence, Chris McAlister, Chris Carr, Jason Craft, Karl Paymah, Stanley Wilson, Ralph Brown, Eric Green, Corey Ivy, Daven Holly, Jamar Fletcher, DeMarcus Faggins, Jimmy Williams, Scott Starks, Benny Sapp, Deltha O'Neal, Lewis Sanders, Jeremetrius Butler, Aaron Glenn, Michael Lehan, R.W. McQuarters, Sam Madison, Ahmad Carroll, Ty Law, Hank Poteat, Justin Miller, Fernando Bryant, Allen Rossum, Donald Strickland, Ricky Manning, Reynaldo Hill, Eric King, Tyrone Poole, David Barrett

    Restricted Free Agent Cornerbacks

    1. Kevin Dockery – The undersized nickel corner was extended a second-round tender by the Giants.

    2. Leigh Torrence – Torrence was a surprisingly waived when the Redskins signed DeAngelo Hall last November, and the Saints were more than happy to take him off their hands for free.

    Others: Derrick Martin, Cletis Gordon, Jarrett Bush, Evan Oglesby

    Candidates for Release Ken Lucas, Shawntae Spencer


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    Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
    Email :Chris Wesseling



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