Who's Out There? - Cornerbacks

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After a shaky start, the Ravens' cornerbacks improved over the course of the year, despite season-ending knee injuries to starters Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb.

However, cornerback may still be a position the Ravens specifically look to improve this offseason.

Washington, who was the Ravens' No. 2 corner, is a restricted free agent. Veteran backups Frank Walker and Corey Ivy are both unrestricted free agents. Webb appeared to be the long-term solution beside Foxworth, who has three years left on his contract, but could begin next year on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Nickel corner Chris Carr has one year left on his current deal.

That means the Ravens not only have a question mark in a starting position, but depth concerns as well.

So without further adieu, let's see who's out there and their chances of landing with the Ravens. *

NOTE: Under the rules of this year's collective bargaining agreement, the Ravens allowed to sign just one unrestricted free agent to a salary of $5.5 (estimated) million or higher. They also can sign any unrestricted free agents for less than $3.7 (estimated) million in a one-year contract with the following years limited to a 30 percent increase. Besides that, the Ravens *are not allowed to sign an unrestricted free agent unless one of theirs signs with another team. And the first year salary of the unrestricted free agent signed cannot exceed the first year salary of the player lost*. *

Dunta Robinson, Houston Texans
Unrestricted; 5-10, 182; 6 years
2009 Stats: 65 tackles, 9 passes defended, 0 interceptions
Robinson is a former first-round draft pick with excellent speed that has long been a reliable top-end cover corner. Upset that he was franchised last year, Robinson sat out the Texans' offseason camps and preseason. He also received a $25,000 fine this season for writing "Pay Me Rick" on his cleats before a game, a reference to Houston's general manager Rick Smith.
Does it Make Sense?No
(Upside - Playmaker; Downside - Too much $, Character issues)

Richard Marshall, Carolina Panthers
Restricted; 5-11, 189; 4 years
2009 Stats: 88 tackles, 9 passes defended, 4 interceptions
Marshall moved into a starting position for the first time in his career this past season and played quite well. The former second-round choice is strong enough to jam receivers and fast enough to run vertically with speedsters. He's also a willing tackler in run support. Marshall is only 25 and could be in line for a payday. The Ravens would have to give up draft picks for him as well.
Does it Make Sense? Maybe
(Upside – Potential; Downside – Cost)

Leigh Bodden, New England Patriots
Unrestricted; 6-1, 193; 7 years
2009 Stats: 56 tackles, 19 passes defended, 5 interceptions
Playing in a one-year deal, Bodden started 15 games at right cornerback and turned into one of New England's most consistent defenders. He's got good size and instincts, is physical and solid in run support. The undrafted Bodden had problems with injuries early in his career with the Browns, but has stayed healthy the past three seasons. Like Foxworth, he is also a local boy, hailing from Hyattsville, Md. Bodden has said he was looking for a long-term deal and the Pats may be inclined to keep him.
Does it Make Sense?Yes(Upside – Experience, Size; Downside – Perhaps Too Much $)

DeShea Townsend, Pittsburgh Steelers
Unrestricted; 5-10, 190; 12 years
2009 Stats: 27 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 interception
Townsend has played his entire career for the Steelers and there's good reason why they kept him around. According to Scouts, Inc., he's "one of the smartest and instinctive players in the league at his position." Townsend is also a good leader and has high character. But he is 34 years old and perhaps not a starter anymore. He lost his starting gig to Steelers CB William Gay in the preseason before regaining it for the Steelers' final two games.
Does it Make Sense? Maybe
(Upside – Experience, Leadership; Downside – Age)

Ken Lucas, Seattle Seahawks
Unrestricted; 6-0, 205; 9 years
2009 Stats: 34 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception
Lucas has size, which the Ravens could use considering all of their cornerbacks are under 6-foot. He jams receivers well at the line of scrimmage and can re-route them after release. What Lucas lacks is top-end and recovery speed. He also isn't a great tackler despite his size. The former second-round pick hasn't missed a game over the past three seasons.
Does it Make Sense? Maybe
(Upside – Size, Downside – Speed)

Other Players To Watch

  • Dre' Bly, San Francisco 49ers, Unrestricted
  • William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers, Unrestricted
  • Nick Harper, Tennessee Titans, Unrestricted
  • Walt Harris, San Francisco 49ers, Unrestricted
  • Ellis Hobbs, Philadelphia Eagles, Restricted
  • Roderick Hood, Tennessee Titans, Unrestricted
  • Marlin Jackson, Indianapolis Colts, Restricted
  • Ty Law, Denver Broncos, Unrestricted
  • Derrick Martin, Green Bay Packers, Restricted
  • Stanford Routt, Oakland Raiders, Unrestricted
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