Hello fellow BucsNation members, it's seen in all threads and clearly in the games, plus in the box score, that Quarterbacks from other teams are torching our pass defense. Clearly players like Leonard Johnson and EJ Biggers are not going to cut it next year in the starting role with Eric Wright. obviously we need to improve in that conerback position. Another position that needs fulfillment is the Free safety position if Ronde Barber retires after this year. Unless we agree on Ahmad Black being the starter.
Here are some notable names for us to consider for those two positions.
Free Agency (Top Cornerbacks):
Brent Grimes (ATL) - After a couple of All-Pro caliber seasons under his belt, Grimes was unable to reach a long-term extension with the Falcons. A season-ending injury such as this often gives merit to camp holdouts, but with an increased importance at the position and diminishing number of true top flight corners, Grimes should still hold value this offseason. His contract situation with the Falcons may depend on the teams season unfolds and Grimes contract ballpark may depend on how fast he heals.
Tracy Porter (DEN) - After being unable to find a long-term home for himself, Porter accepted a 1 year, $4 million deal to start opposite a waning Champ Bailey on the other side. Through the early stretch of the season, Porter has played well. If only he can stay healthy, an issue that haunted him in New Orleans, Porter should be able to cash in after a successful prove it season.
Sean Smith (MIA) - After trading another up-and-coming corner and former first round pick in Vontae Davis, the Dolphins showed confidence and placed a lot of stock in their long corner Sean Smith. If there's anything his career has shown so far, it's been inconsistency. If Smith gets everything to click for an entire season, he surely has Pro Bowl capability. Miami seems almost a lock to retain Smith, but the quality and consistency of his 2012 season will go a long way in determining the size and length of his contract.
Quentin Jammer (SD) - For the past 7+ years, Quentin Jammer has been among the most underrated defensive backs in the league. As one of the most consistent cover corners, he's hardly gotten so much as a Pro Bowl mention to his name. Now with a contract expiring, Jammer will be 34 as the 2013 season begins. He's signed his last big contract, but despite struggling a bit last year, there is still quality play in front of Jammer.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (PHI) - After trading for him in the infamous Kevin Kolb trade (which is now being re-evaluated), the Eagles traded their Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel, propelling DRC into a start boundary corner position. He has the length and speed to challenge top receivers downfield, but has struggled consistently covering more polished receivers. He's hardly a top flight corner, but he's the only starting corner the Eagles have opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.
Derek Cox (JAC) - Though struggling to stay over a full 16-game schedule, Cox has been a strong starter when on the field. Averaging just 6.4 YPA against him over the past two years, allowing completions against him less than 50% of the time, the Jaguars will definitely look to re-sign him to maintain continuity in a middling, but improving defense.
Mike Jenkins (DAL)- Good corner he's still fairly young young 27 years old. definitely a good cover corner who can make plays has 8 picks and 43 pass deflections in his career.
Marcus Trufant (Sea) - He's 31 years old, but has good career numbers including 5 forced fumbles, 21 interceptions, 643 tackles, and 109 pass deflections.
Free Agency (Safeties):
Ed Reed (BAL) - Will he re-sign with Baltimore or will he retire? Even a 35 year old Ed Reed will excite the Ravens organization if he chooses to continue his professional career. Though he's agentless, Reed's mentioned to the media in the past that his heart is entirely in the Ravens organization and he's looking to play beyond this year. The odds of him suiting up in a different jersey next year is minimal.
Dashon Goldson (SF) - Goldson had the best season of his career for the opportunistic 49ers defense. Reeling in 6 interceptions and a fumble recovery of his own, Goldson not only provided the Niners with much needed turnovers, but helped prevent big plays in the backend with strong discipline. With the amount of volatility and up-and-down play at the safety position in the league, it's hard to fault the Niners for not coming to some sort of compromise after last year. However, with Goldson coming strong out of the gates again, it seems that's he'll earn an extension after this year.
LaRon Landry (NYJ) - Signing a 1 year, $3.5 million deal with the Jets coming off an Achilles injury, Landry received the quintessential "prove it" contract. Now losing Darrelle Revis to injury, the Jets safeties will again be truly tested and Landry will have to help hold the secondary together. If he can make it through the year in the good graces of the team, he'll be in position to earn a bigger payday. Still, with his history of injury and inconsistency, another long-term lucrative payday does not appear to be forthcoming from New York or anywhere else.
Jairus Byrd (BUF) - After a rookie season littered with fortunate passes thrown directly his way, Byrd's interception totals have normalized. Whereas the interceptions are no longer coming in bunches, Byrd has improved his game in other areas to become one of the league's better safeties. With great range and anticipatory skills in center field, Byrd is reliable free safety capable of forcing quarterbacks to hold the ball and double check his position on the field before throwing the deep ball. In a pass-heavy league, one of the best young safeties in the game should be high on the Bills' priority list this season.
Louis Delmas (DET) - Though Delmas has never broken free into the top tier of safeties, his absence has left the Lions reeling and pining for his return to the field where his reliability and hard-hitting ability has helped minimize the bleeding in the secondary. As the Lions look to find areas where they can improve, the secondary will be at the top of their list and within that priority list, retaining their own starting safety will be high up.
Dee Milliner (Alabama)- Draft grade 94
Jonathan Banks (Miss. St.)- Draft grade 89
Blidi Wreh-wilson (UConn)- Draft Grade 87
Kenny Vaccaro (Texas)- Draft grade 92
Matt Elam (Florida)- Draft grade 87
Shawn Williams (Georgia)- Draft grade 86