NFL trade rumors: Cowboys contemplate trading CB Morris Claiborne
The team handed over a first and second-round pick to the Rams so that they may move up the boards and select Claiborne with the 6th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, Claiborne struggled during the first-two season, partly due to his inability to stay healthy.
Claiborne has just two interceptions and 14 pass breakups to show for his first two seasons in the NFL. During that short span, Claiborne also spent 17 weeks on the injury report. Even though Claiborne started all 15 available games during his rookie season, he lost his starting job to veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick due to a slow start, a shoulder injury and a hamstring issue later in the 2013 season.
The 24-year-old Morris Claiborne is now a second string cornerback and third on the Cowboys’ depth chart, only playing in nickle situations or when one of the team’s starters needs a break. This is hardly what the Cowboys expected of Claiborne when they drafted him out of LSU with such a high draft pick. The Cowboys reportedly had Claiborne graded out with the same skill set as former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders when he was initially drafted out of Florida State. But Claiborne finished ranked No.90 among the league’s cornerbacks last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Cowboys have Claiborne on the books for a $4.4 million salary in 2013, including $9.6 in dead money due to his $10.3 million signing bonus. The team also added an option for 2016 on his rookie contract, but chances are that Claiborne’s tenure in Dallas might not stretch that far.
ESPN reports it’s very possible that the Cowboys are considering putting Claiborne on the trading block, and expect at least a third-round pick in return. The other teams aren’t expected to go any higher in their compensation for Claiborne, considering his recent struggles.
However, the Cowboys are offering teams a chance to acquire a player who could be an All-Pro cornerback – if he stays healthy – while receiving a draft picks that that will land them at best a backup or a less significant starter. That’s certainly not a good return on their investment. So, it’s also possible that the Cowboys simply want to get an idea of the type of offers Claiborne can attract, while eventually opting to keep the player – with hope that he can produce in his third season. We’ve previously seen players with worse starts to their pro careers and Claiborne might just be able to turn things around if he can manage to stay healthy.