Disclaimer: The author realizes that the Steelers are burning in Salary Cap Hell and can’t pony up much money for free agents. However, you never know what they have planned and it’s the author’s responsibility to highlight the free agent options. It’s like the lyric in the Train classic, Drops of Jupiter...And tell me did you sail across the sun? Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded and that heaven is overrated? And tell me did you fall from a shooting star, one without a permanent scar and did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there? Well, kind of.
The Steelers are stronger at the CB position than they've been in a long time with Joe Haden and Steven Nelson starting. But with their slot corner, Mike Hilton, a restricted free agent...the Steelers have a player they would like to retain, but might not be able to. If they do find salary cap room to sign or match, that may be the free agent route they go at the position. They could cut ties and look at Cam Sutton or Justin Layne here as well. But for the sake of the series, here is the list of available free agents should a Steel City Money Miracle occur and the Steelers inexplicably look to add a free agent corner.
ONCE AGAIN. THE AUTHOR REALIZES THAT THE STEELERS DO NOT HAVE THE FUNDS FOR MANY OF THESE PLAYERS. HOWEVER, THIS IS THE LIST OF WHO IS AVAILABLE TO THE ENTIRE LEAGUE AND THE STEELERS. YOU CAN CRITICIZE THE IDIOT AUTHOR IN FACEBOOK OR BLEACHER REPORT COMMENTS FOR WASTING YOUR TIME AND NOT KNOWING ANYTHING AT ALL, AGAIN AND AGAIN. HOWEVER, THESE WILL CONTINUE TO APPEAR.
Here is the list of free agents at the position should the Steelers or the competition be shopping. One more time, the author is aware that Steelers have little room under the cap. But if you read the entire article, you’ll be able to amaze your friends, family, coworkers and people in line at the bank or supermarket with your vast knowledge of NFL Free Agents.
Byron Jones - Dallas Cowboys
Age 27, 6’0”
2019 Stats - 15 games, 0 interceptions, 53 times targeted, 6 pass defenses, 30 receptions allowed, 53.1 completion % allowed, 0 touchdown scored
No. 14 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 76.1 (High Quality), Coverage 74.8 (Above Average), Run Defense 75.1 (High Quality) 0 touchdown scored
Jones is a top option for any team looking for a corner. Although he hasn’t had an interception since his switch from safety, the Cowboy has emerged as one of the top coverage guys out there. In fact, he matches up very well against the Tight End and will be a valuable signing for whoever opens the wallet.
Chris Harris Jr. - Denver Broncos
Age 30, 5’10”
2019 Stats - 16 games, 1 interceptions, 68 times targeted, 6 pass defenses, 47 receptions allowed, 0 touchdowns scored, 67.1 completion % allowed,
No. 34 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 69.9 (Above Average), Coverage 66.8 (Above Average), Run Defense 82.8 (High Quality)
Harris is a senior guy at the position, but still a fantastic slot corner. True that the Super Bowl Champ and 4x Pro Bowler had his worst season last year, but it was due to a switch primarily to the outside. This is a good veteran sign at the right cost. With the Broncos trading for A.J. Bouye, Harris will most likely end up with another franchise.
Jimmy Smith - Baltimore Ravens
Age 31, 6’2”
2019 Stats - 9 games, 1 interception, 47 times targeted, 6 pass defenses, 24 receptions allowed, 56.0 completion % allowed, 0 touchdowns scored
No. 43 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 65.6 (Above Average), Coverage 64.2 (Average), Run Defense 70.0 (Above Average)
Teams could probably get Jimmy Smith for a veteran deal. His penchant for injury has rendered him a part-time guy since his last full season in 2015. Still a good option for a depth piece at maybe a good price.
James Bradberry - Carolina Panthers
Age 26, 6’1”/347 lbs.
2019 Stats - 15 games, 3 interceptions, 81 times targeted, 12 pass defenses, 48 receptions allowed, 59.8 completion % allowed, 0 touchdowns scored
No. 68 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 60.9 (Average), Coverage 64.5 (Average), Run Defense 37.7 (Poor)
Bradberry has been labeled as a suspect tackler, but he’s been lining up against No. 1 guys and has shown plenty of promise. He’s a franchise tag possibility for Carolina, but should do well as a free agent.
Darqueze Dennard - Cincinnati Bengals
Age 28, 5’11”
2019 Stats - 9 games, 0 interceptions, 33 times targeted, 5 pass defenses, 18 receptions allowed, 48.6% completion % allowed, 0 touchdowns scored
No. 21 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 72.2 (Above Average), Coverage 76.0 (High Quality), Run Defense 57.7 (Average)
Dennard has an injury history that has led him to playing really only one full season. That was last year where he played mostly as a slot corner and he played it well. GMs are going to have to take a while in weighing the risks and rewards with Dennard.
Other Notable Free Agent Cornerbacks:
Bradley Roby - Houston Texans
Kendall Fuller - Kansas City Chiefs
Brian Poole - New York Jets
Ronald Darby - Philadelphia Eagles
Prince Amukamara - Chicago Bears
Mackensie Alexander - Minnesota Vikings
Trae Waynes - Minnesota Vikings
Mike Hilton - Pittsburgh Steelers (RFA)
Kevin Johnson - Buffalo Bills
Logan Ryan - Tennessee Titans
Tramon Williams - Green Bay Packers
Ross Cockrell - Carolina Panthers
Josh Norman - Washington Redskins
Aqib Talib - Miami Dolphins
Vernon Hargreaves - Houston Texans
Regardless of affordability, what Free Agent Corner would you like the Steelers to sign in 2020?
This poll is closed
Chris Harris Jr