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CB free agency preview

Posted Mar 6, 2013


Bills GM Buddy Nix isn’t the only front office executive that says it, but he’s lived up to his word that ‘you can never have enough cornerbacks.’ Nix has selected three cornerbacks for the Bills in the team’s last two drafts including two in the first two rounds (Aaron Williams, Stephon Gilmore). If impending free agent Leodis McKelvin is not re-signed a large contingent of youth exists at the position. Buffalo could be on the lookout for a veteran cornerback to add.

FREE AGENCY PREVIEWS: WR | TE | CB | LB | G

The heavy hitters
Kyle Arrington – New England –
Arrington is an opportunistic corner, whose big season was in 2011 when he posted seven interceptions. A three-year starter, he has good instincts and play with an edge to him. Age 26.

Antoine Cason – San Diego – A good size, speed combination corner, Cason has improved with each year that he’s played. Another three-year starter Cason is considered by most to be best in press coverage. Age 26.

Derek Cox – Jacksonville – Possessing elite speed and size, Cox is a quality press corner that plays physical enough to re-route receivers. He’s not always technique sound, but is better than he was at reading receivers and makes plays on the ball. Age 26.

Chris Houston – Detroit – A consistently productive player, Houston has 37 pass breakups the last three seasons along with eight interceptions and three forced fumbles. Capable of playing in zone or man schemes, Houston is an instinctive cover defender that makes plays. Age 28.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Philadelphia – DRC is coming off a season that resembled the playmaking abilities he put on display at the start of his career in Arizona. Blessed with a long angular frame, Rodgers-Cromartie is viewed to be his best in press coverage where he can use his long arms to re-route receivers. Age 26.

Sean Smith – Miami – The best size and strength corner on the market, Smith is a physical cornerback than can handle big receivers and run with fast ones. There was some inconsistency to his game last season, but still has potential to realize making him an attractive option if your coaching staff believes in him. Age 25.

Middle Market
Cedric Griffin – Washington –
Griffin is an athletic and physical corner that does well in supporting the run. He does a good job maintaining his leverage against receivers, but there are durability concerns. Age 30.

Brent Grimes – Atlanta – He would’ve been in the above category were it not for an Achilles injury that cost him all but the first game of the year last season. Knowing he’s an undersized corner whose main asset is speed, quickness and change of direction ability the medical exams will largely determine whether there’s a market for this talented corner or not. Age 29.

Mike Jenkins – Dallas – Injuries compromised his playing time in Dallas last season, but he had been a three-year starter with good production. Blessed with a strong build and top end athleticism, Jenkins is a good anticipator that makes plays on the ball. Age 27.

Keenan Lewis – Pittsburgh – He didn’t make a ton of plays as a first-year starter in Pittsburgh, but Lewis is a good size and strength combination at corner. An improving read and react defender. Age 26.

Cary Williams – Baltimore – A versatile defender in both man and zone schemes, Williams also has long arms and reads receivers well off the line. Improved in run support, Williams is a two-year starter coming off his most productive season. Age 28.

Veteran options
Will Allen – New England

Nate Clements – Cincinnati

Drayton Florence – Detroit

Quentin Jammer – San Diego

Marcus Trufant – Seattle

Possible fits for Bills
Kyle Arrington – New England –
A corner that could be another playmaker for Buffalo’s secondary while also taking talent off New England’s roster.

Antoine Cason – San Diego – The physical kind of corner that would appear to fit in Mike Pettine’s defense. A good resume that would appear to justify the investment.

Derek Cox – Jacksonville – Cox is an underrated cover corner playing in a small market and could help a team looking for a bona fide starter.

Cary Williams – Baltimore – His familiarity with a similar defensive scheme in Baltimore might be seen as a plus for the Bills. Williams game is still on the ascent.