I Hear There Are Still Some Corners Available
March 28, 2013 at 01:45am by Scott • 10 Comments »
With possibly the worst draft class in at least ten years and nothing at all happening with the Bucs right now, I may be forced to give a shit about world events and news. Or worse yet, spring training.
The ongoing lack of a cornerback with more than a half-page resume remains the top Buccaneer concern, and Stephen Holder did us the favor of looking at the more notable free agents and telling us why they won’t be coming to Tampa.
Nnamdi Asomugha (Eagles): He reportedly is nearing a deal with either the Saints or 49ers and hasn’t been connected to Tampa Bay. But he’s among the best cornerbacks still available despite his struggles last season.
Bucs reportedly aren’t interested. Like, at all.
Brent Grimes (Falcons): Grimes is coming off a ruptured Achilles and seems to have initially set his asking price too high. He’s now generating quite a bit of interest, but the Bucs, we’re told, aren’t going to be his landing spot.
Rick Stroud seconds this assertion. I thought he’d be a good one.
Antoine Winfield (Vikings): He’s 35, so he’s not a great option, but he’s experienced and can still play at a pretty high level. Some see him as a better fit in the slot, though he can obviously play on the perimeter, too. Winfield reportedly is visiting the Redskins on Wednesday.
If the Bucs were going to draft two corners high, then this would be fine. But if they’re planning on holding onto someone for more than a year, you can’t pick a 35-year old corner. Ronde will probably be coming back to take over nickel, and then you’ve got almost 80 years of corner trying to defend Julio Jones. No.
Quentin Jammer (Chargers): This former first-round pick is also getting up there in age, now 33. He’s been a starter for his entire 12-year career, including last season when he made three interceptions for the Chargers. In any case, I’m told the Bucs haven’t contacted him so this might be a moot point.
Jammer has been hot and cold in his career, but he’s not a bad option.
Tracy Porter (Broncos): He didn’t have a good 2012 season, starting just four games for Denver, but he’s young (26) and has some ability. Porter was instrumental in the Saints’ 2009 championship season, and his past in the NFC South means the Bucs’ front office is familiar with him. The Saints and Raiders reportedly are interested.
Another halfway decent option.
DeAngelo Hall (Redskins): Hall has superb ball skills. Always has, evidenced by his 39 career interceptions. But Hall’s weakness – man coverage – could be problematic for a team like the Bucs, who use the tactic extensively. Probably not the best fit for Tampa Bay.
Because a team can never have too many neck tattoos.
Mike Jenkins (Cowboys): He experienced his share of struggles in Dallas last season, losing his place in the starting lineup. But Jenkins, formerly of USF, has put solid play on tape in the past. The 28-year old is from Manatee County and would likely find the Bucs appealing, but there’s been a very soft market for him to this point.
So this is what it’s come to?
Joselio Hanson (Raiders): He’s been a reliable slot/third cornerback for most of his eight seasons, and that doesn’t appear likely to change. Whoever signs Hanson wouldn’t be doing so with plans of him being one of their top cover men. But he would provide far better depth than the Bucs had in 2012.
You’ve probably got opinions about all these guys (except the last one, who isn’t known to anyone besides his mother) and have completely valid reasons for not wanting the Bucs to sign any of them. But if the Revis deal doesn’t happen, are you really comfortable with what they’ve got now? Even if they were to get Dee Milliner (Alabama) in the draft (which they won’t unless they move up to get him), they need more depth. Any of the above corners would be better than what they’ve got, at least in the short term. Maybe Leonard Johnson and Danny Gorrer will be good one day and maybe that day is soon, but it’s not now and unless the Bucs want to go for back-to-back “Worst Passing Defense” trophies, they need someone who knows when to jump to break up a pass and not bite on out-and-ups. How much could any of those dudes possibly be for a season?