Nov 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) defends against Arizona Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd (15) at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
One of the most important and rare commodities in the modern NFL is a shutdown corner, or at least a consistent cover corner who can manage the amount of damage an opposing team’s receivers can do to you. Teams pay top dollars for top corners like Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson, Aquib Talib and Darelle Revis. It’s hard to have a defense without good cornerback play.
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Last offseason, the Raiders signed Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers, both respectable veteran corners, to supplement a cornerback group that included the young and oft-injured DJ Hayden, and rookies TJ Carrie and Keith McGill. Rogers spent most of the year injured, Brown was up and down, and neither will be back this year. Hayden started showing flashes of the promise that got him drafted in the first round in 2014, and Carrie played solidly all year as a slot corner, while the bigger McGill showed signs of ability late last year.
With these three promising young cornerbacks all still under contract, the Raiders don’t have the pressing need for two nes corners, but there’s still room for improvement and veteran leadership in the group, and this can be found in free agency. Here are the five best available free agent cornerbacks:
Next: 2015 FA Preview: CB #1, Byron Maxwell