Steelers free agency dive into cornerbacks produces a high-to-low of Verner, Nolan and Munnerlyn

Grant Halverson

The Steelers are reportedly interested in Alterraun Verner, Nolan Carroll and Captain Munnerlyn among their (alleged) free agency targets. There's a wide gap with the shortest one standing firmly on the bottom.

However the cornerback market launches itself formally at 4 p.m. ET, it seems the Steelers will have made aggressive moves in terms of sending the message they're in line to upgrade their cornerback position.

While it's fairly obvious the high-to-low of interest threshold goes from Alterraun Verner, Nolan Carroll and Captain Munnerlyn, the last of that group (perhaps not coincidentally the shortest at 5-foot-8) may be the real target.

It'd be a surprise if Munnerlyn was a Day 1 signee for any team, including the Steelers. An aggressive hitter, the real problem is how the Carolina Panthers, a strong defensive team with cap space and a pretty obvious need and desire to get better in their secondary, are letting Munnerlyn test the market.

Maybe Munnerlyn is that good. Maybe the Panthers want him, but not at what he's asking, and will welcome him back should he find out he's not worth what he thinks he is.

The Steelers used the same ploy on CB Keenan Lewis last season. He signed with New Orleans and left town - a 2014 compensatory pick being his lasting legacy now. It's fair to say Munnerlyn aint no Keenan Lewis.

So is this simply "kick the tires on all cornerbacks, probably a year too late?" With the fact Munnerlyn's tires are so close to the ground compared to his peers, and the lack of ability to convince the team that drafted him (in the seventh round) of his long-term viability, we may as well refer to him more as Captain "Buzzkill" Munnerlyn. At the same time, it may not carry with it the appeal of the top-of-the-market cornerbacks, Munnerlyn's name can be associated with the kind of solidity on which the Steelers' secondary used to build its foundation.

Two main things to remember, it's just speculation at this point - we'll find out in a few hours how serious the Steelers are or are not about free agency - and there is still the draft to build cornerback depth.

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