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2012 NFL Free Agent Defensive Backs

By: Roshan Bhagat

Top Cornerbacks:

Carlos Rogers (SF) - After having an All-Pro caliber season, Rogers will enter free agency looking for a long-term deal. With a pair of expiring contracts for their top two players in the secondary, the Niners may struggle to retain both before the start of free agency. Dashon Goldson is the more likely candidate to receive the franchise tag if neither have deals worked out by then, but losing the underrated Rogers would be a tremendous loss for the league's best defense.

Cortland Finnegan (TEN) - Despite some of his “dirty” tactics as some may call it, Finnegan has been a top 10 corner for much of his career. He's strong in run support and solid in coverage. He lacks ideal size, but is a perfect fit for what the Titans do on the perimeter. There were rumors that Finnegan was displeased with the lack of contract talks coming into the year and it doesn't appear if they have taken off the ground even to this point. Finnegan seems open to returning on a long-term contract, but seems skeptical about the possibility of it coming to fruition.

Brandon Carr (KC) - At 25 years old and coming off another good year, the Chiefs will have to pay a strong starting corner salary to the 6'0, 208-pound Brandon Carr. Though the tandem of Carr and Flowers didn't live up to potential this year, there is strong hope that they will still develop into one of the best cornerback tandems in the league in the future. Carr still has an outside shot of seeing the franchise tag if they can't reach a long-term extension prior to the start of free agency.

Terrell Thomas (NYG) - Thomas was an above average number two cornerback prior to suffering a season-ending injury. He's also one of the best in the league in run support, so if he can make a full recovery, he would be a valuable pick-up for a team looking to get physical on the perimeter. With the trio of Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, and Aaron Ross (also a free agent), Terrell Thomas could be the odd man out.

Richard Marshall (ARZ) - Marshall has never been an elite corner, but has some solid seasons under his belt-and potentially none better than this year. He's a physical, capable starting corner and one of the best in the business in run support. Playing a combination of corner and safety (due to the injury of Kerry Rhodes), he was valuable and played a key role in the development and improvement of the Cardinals secondary in the second half of the season. The team will most likely make a play to retain him at a fair price.

Rashean Mathis (JAC) - Prior to suffering a torn ACL in the middle of the year, Rashean Mathis was having a flashback to the elite years of his past. When healthy, Mathis is still a strong cover corner, but at 31, the team will need to be fully confident in his recovery before allowing him to return to Jacksonville.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Kelvin Hayden (ATL)
Chris Carr (BAL) Dominique Foxworth (BAL) Reggie Corner (BUF)
Cletis Gordon (CAR)
Zackary Bowman (CHI)
Corey Graham (CHI)
Tim Jennings (CHI)
Kelly Jennings (CIN)
Pacman Jones (CIN)
Dmitri Patterson (CLE)
Alan Ball (DAL)
Frank Walker (DAL)
Brandon McDonald (DET)
Eric Wright (DET)
Jonathan Wilhite (DEN)
Jarrett Bush (GB)
Pat Lee (GB)
Jason Allen (HOU)
David Jones (JAC)
Dwight Lowery (JAC)
Travis Daniels (KC)
Will Allen (MIA)
Benny Sapp (MIN)
Antwaun Molden (NE)
Tracy Porter (NO)
Leigh Torrence (NO)
Will Blackmon (NYG)
Michael Coe (NYG)
Aaron Ross (NYG)
Justin Tryon (NYG)
Donald Strickland (NYJ)
Lito Sheppard (OAK)
William Gay (PIT)
Anthony Madison (PIT)
Bryant McFadden (PIT)
Marcus Trufant (SEA)
Roderick Hood (STL)
Justin King (STL)
Ronde Barber (TB)
Elbert Mack (TB)
Philip Buchanon (WAS)
A.J. Jefferson (ARZ) - CB - Exclusive Rights
Greg Toler (ARZ) - CB - Restricted
Lardarius Webb (BAL) - CB - Restricted
R.J. Stanford (CAR) - CB - Exclusive Rights
Jacob Lacey (IND) - CB - Restricted
William Middleton (JAC) - Restricted
Bruce Johnson (NYG) - CB - Restricted
Marquice Cole (NYJ) - CB - Restricted
Keenan Lewis (PIT) - CB - Restricted
Byron Westbrook (WAS) - CB - Restricted

Safeties:

LaRon Landry (WAS) - With an Achilles injury sidelining him last year, Landry enters this offseason without a contract and an injury that still isn't entirely healed. Going against doctors' wishes, Landry has decided to forgo surgery hoping the heel will improve on its own. With that type of risk hanging over, the Redskins appear disinterested in re-signing the safety who has looked like a star at times unless he's open to a low-risk, short-term contract. Whether it's what he wants, that may be the best he'll get even on the open market.

Thomas DeCoud (ATL) - DeCoud has been an adequate safety for the Falcons for the past three years in a league where adequate, consistent safeties are hard to find. On the bright side, the Falcons are projected to be close to $30 million under the cap. On the other hand, they also have to worry about re-signing Brent Grimes and Curtis Lofton to long-term deals on defense in addition to making a decision on defensive end John Abraham.

The Rest:

Hamza Abdullah (ARZ)
Sean Considine (ARZ)
James Sanders (ATL)
Haruki Nakumura (BAL)
Tom Zbikowski (BAL)
Bryan Scott (BUF)
Brandon Meriweather (CHI)
Craig Steltz (CHI)
Reggie Nelson (CIN)
Gibril Wilson (CIN)
Mike Adams (CLE)
Abram Elam (DAL)
Erik Coleman (DET)
Chris Harris (DET)
Dominique Barber (HOU)
CC Brown (JAC)
Courtney Greene (JAC)
Jon McGraw (KC)
Sabby Piscitelli (KC)
Husain Abdullah (MIN)
Tyrell Johnson (MIN)
Jarrad Page (MIN)
James Ihedigbo (NE)
Nathan Jones (NE)
Deon Grant (NYG)
Derrick Martin (NYG)
Jim Leonhard (NYJ)
Brodney Pool (NYJ)
Matt Giordano (OAK)
Steve Gregory (SD)
Paul Oliver (SD)
Bob Sanders (SD)
Atari Bigby (SEA)
Reggie Smith (SF)
Madieu Williams (SF)
Craig Dahl (STL)
Sean Jones (TB)
Corey Lynch (TB)
Jordan Babineaux (TEN)
Chris Hope (TEN)
Anthony Smith (TEN)
Rashad Johnson (ARZ) - Restricted
Jeromy Miles (CIN) - Exclusive Rights
Randy Phillips (DET) - Exclusive Rights
Quintin Demps (HOU) - Restricted
Bret Lockett (NE) - Exclusive Rights
Jerome Boyd (OAK) - Exclusive Rights
Tramaine Brock (SF) - Exclusive Rights
Darian Stewart (STL) - Exclusive Rights

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