NFL Free Agents and Potential Cap Casualties: Defensive Backs

2013's free agent Defensive Backs and potential cap casualties

2/15/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Here's a look at the 2013 class of free agent defensive backs in the NFL, along with players who may be released by the time free agency begins.

For a look at the free agent quarterbacks of 2013, click here.
For running backs, click here.
For wide receivers/tight ends, click here.
For offensive linemen, click here.
For defensive linemen, click here.
For linebackers, click here.
Blog Photo - NFL Free Agents and Potential Cap Casualties: Defensive Backs
We'll start with the cornerbacks. The Patriots are reluctant to sign Aqib Talib to the long-term contract that his talent warrants due to his history of off-field issues. If the Patriots offer Talib a team-friendly contract, he very well may turn it down. If that is the case, the franchise tag could be an option. If Talib hits the open market, teams will line up to try and win the 27 year old shutdown corner's services.

Brent Grimes was sensational in 2011 with the Falcons, but tore his achilles tendon in September of 2012. Plenty of teams will be intrigued, but with Grimes turning 30 years old over the summer, it's tough to predict how effective he'll be after his devastating injury. He may look to sign a one-year deal to prove himself. The Falcons have a solid group of cornerbacks, so they may not feel it is necessary to bring Grimes back.

Big, physical Sean Smith emerged as a very legitimate starting cornerback in 2012, but values himself much higher than the Dolphins do. The franchise tag could be a possibility, but right now it seems that Smith will hit the market if the Dolphins don't match his lofty demands. The Dolphins don't seem likely to give in to Smith at this point.

The Eagles are not expected to bring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back in 2013, so he'll likely hit the open market with a high price tag. Though he's been considered a bust since being traded to the Eagles, he remains one of the league's top ball-hawking cornerbacks. With size and age on his side, he'll have plenty of potential suitors.
Nov 11, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams (29) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (85) at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Raiders 55-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
If you've been following my breakdown of free agency, you'll have noticed that all of the Ravens' free agents have a good shot of hitting the open market because of Joe Flacco's contract demands. The case is no different for Cary Williams, who had a great 2012 season stepping up to the No. 1 cornerback position after Lardarius Webb's injury. Williams is seeking about $8 million annually, and the franchise tag is not an option.

Despite their age (both will be 30 or older by the start of next season), Terrance Newman and Pacman Jones played very well in 2012 and are expected back with the Bengals.

Mike Jenkins is not expected to re-sign with the Cowboys, and he'll be looking for a starting job on the market. After being used sparingly in 2012, he won't draw a ton of interest as a starter, but if he's willing to take a smaller role, he'll have no problem landing a contract.

Lions top cover corner Chris Houston has a good shot of hitting the open market due to the Lions' salary cap limitations... Derek Cox has plenty of talent, but likely won't be offered a long-term deal due to a lengthy injury history... EJ Biggers started 12 games for the Bucs' 32nd ranked pass defense in 2012... After a disappointing 2012 season plagued by odd injuries, Tracy Porter says he'll be on the field in 2013 - but probably not with the Broncos.
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