Many NFL observers believed cornerbacks would fly off the shelves when free agency began on Tuesday.
So far, the shelves remain pretty stocked.
The Indianapolis Colts re-signed cornerback Vontae Davis on Tuesday. Davis received a four-year deal worth $39 million ($20 million guaranteed). He is a 25-year-old cornerback who is about to enter his prime, and the Colts were smart to re-sign Davis.
But every other elite cornerback is probably wondering why Davis was signed while they remain on the market.
New England’s Aqib Talib, Tennessee’s Alterraun Verner and Denver’s Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are still on the free agent market. Each cornerback is expected to receive a major payday, but they are still waiting. Unfortunately, there are a few factors working against them.
Start with Darrelle Revis.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in trading Revis, but teams are hesitant to give up a high draft pick and take on his $16 million salary cap hit. Tampa Bay is expected to release Revis on Wednesday if it cannot trade him, and most NFL teams will wait likely wait for that to occur and negotiate a better deal. If an NFL team is really intent on spending premier money on a cornerback in free agency, it makes sense to see if Revis is available before making a move.
Meanwhile, Talib has sustained injuries in two consecutive AFC championship games, which makes his ability to stay healthy a fair concern for most teams. Verner expressed an interest in signing with New England, which could affect Talib’s ability to re-sign with the Patriots. Rodgers-Cromartie is a great player, but is not expected to land a long-term deal.
In addition, the upcoming draft is deep at the cornerback position. NFL teams have the luxury of paying a rookie cornerback around $1.6 million per year versus $7 million for an established veteran.
The elite cornerbacks may have locked down receivers during the regular season, but only one has snagged a huge payday during free agency – so far.
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