Pre-Draft Free Agent Movements: Cornerback

The vast bulk of the offseason roster moves to be made before the draft are already completed, so now is a good time to start taking a look at how the month of March (and the early portions of April) have affected the depth chart.

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the offseason with 21 unrestricted free agents. They retained many of them, but also lost a few that they likely wished to keep, and were forced to replace them from outside the organization. The Steelers also released a few players, in addition to signing half a dozen (and counting) players from other teams.

The next position we will take a look at is cornerback, and the offseason gains and losses there that the team has experienced.

Re-Signings:

None, though the restructuring of Ike Taylor’s contract is worth noting here. Taylor signed a new one-year contract worth $2.75 million in order to play one last season for the team that drafted him.

Scheduled to command a $7 million base salary this season, it was certain that there was no way he would play the year without altering his contract. The pay cut saved the Steelers a much-needed $4.25 million.

Additions:

Brice McCain: The addition of Brice McCain certainly doesn’t compare to the improvement made at safety via free agency. But McCain does offer a considerable amount of experience, having logged over 2000 snaps over the last five season while playing in sub-packages for the Houston Texans.

McCain had more than his fair share of struggles last season, giving up six touchdowns, but he also has four interceptions in the last three seasons and played well in 2011. He figures to compete with Shamarko Thomas for playing time as the dime back when the Steelers put four corners on the field.

Losses:

None.

Remaining Free Agents:

Curtis Brown (released): While not properly considered a loss due to the fact that the Steelers released him, Curtis Brown remains a free agent, which is not surprising given that he is recovering from an ACL tear. He has now had three seasons to show that he can offer something on defense since being drafted in the third round, but despite playing well on special teams, his time to prove himself with the Steelers has understandably run out.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    Its pretty evident what position is lacking talent, CB and not a nickel slot guy but someone to play opposite C.Allen

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Absolutely. I actually hope the Steelers pick CB Aaron Colvin. Although injured he could end up being a starter by 2015, as he was expected to be a 1st or 2nd round talent. Can he be had now in round 5, as some suggest, or 4?

    And, if you agree with me, what other cornerbacks might you target and in what round to make an impact some time in 2014? IMO the guy I want is S Jean Baptiste in the 3rd round, as he has almost as much upside as the top guys and could be useful later this year.

    The risk is that they can’t help too much this year. The reward is that you could have 2 very good CB’s that are ready to start and be solid by 2015. Also, you could spend the earlier rounds drafting elsewhere. Nice.

    Thoughts?

  • Patrick Reid

    Great observation. I have be saying the same thing about Colvin and Nickoe Whitley, S from Miss. St who was highly ranked in the preseason.Whitley got injured and seasons end. Both might be late steals. Definitely Colvin, whom I was really impressed with versus Bama. Also, I heard that he is ahead of scheduled in his rehab. SJB is raw but has a ton of upside and size. I really feel that the resigning of Ike is underrated. To get him at that price and for him to be a servicable,willing, mentor is awesome. Also, Dessir is also a 3rd,4th rd option.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Bullion,
    In my mind, NO ONE drafted at CB will help us as a starter this year – that includes both Gilbert and Dennard – unless our past policy about starting rookies changes. So, sadly, no matter who we draft at CB the risk of them not starting is there.
    I, too, like the thought of drafting Colvin but only if we can do due diligence on his recovery, which I’m not sure is even possible? At his age, though, one would think that he will recover fully.
    Colvin could probably be had as late as the 6th or 7th unless something has developed this week – many websites show him going EARLIEST in the 5th.
    The policy of not starting rookies therefore helps us in a potential ‘Colvin starting in 2015′ scenario!! As he would have a year to season even if he was healthy….
    The position I think we are absolutely STUPID if we don’t draft is NT – I personally like McCullers or Ellis in rd4 or 5 and it would allow us to slide McClendon to DE, thus preventing us from having to take a 5tech DE high in the draft as a critical pick.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I like your line of thinking as well, because again you are NOT begging for someone in particular in round 1, but looking for value. In your scenario a later round pick, plus UDFA;s, Nick Williams and Arnfelt battle it out to make the team. In case they all fall flat plus injuries then maybe the “Beard” reappears during the season, who knows. But, you have not had to spend a 1st on a DE.

    Colvin may have to be picked in the 4th or 5th. Witness the San Fran RB that was picked in the 3rd last year.

    Now if they trade back with Frisco, they may get 4 picks by the end of the 3rd round or so. That would help immensely as there is tons of talent there.