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Free Agent Primer 2024: Cornerback

Centered around youth, CB room will seek veteran help


After finishing his first season as a head coach with a 4-13 record, Jonathan Gannon said that while he was pleased with the teams’ fight, it simply wasn’t good enough. Now that those in the locker room and throughout the league have an idea how a Gannon-Monti Ossenfort regime operates, they'll look to build a playoff contender through free agency and the draft. The new league year begins on March 13, and with that comes free agency. Here's the seventh of 11 position breakdowns.

Free Agent primer schedule: CB March 4; RB March 5; S March 6; TE March 7; OLB March 8

Other free agent primers: DL, OL, QB, ILB, ST, WR

Cap hit of players under contract for 2024 (via Garrett Williams ($1,280,666), Michael Ojemudia ($1,055,000), Darren Hall ($985,000), Kei'Trel Clark ($967,150), Starling Thomas V ($915,000) Divaad Wilson ($915,000), Quavian White ($795,000)

Scheduled free agents: Antonio Hamilton, Bobby Price, Rashad Fenton

Need: High

Analysis: All positions will have Jonathan Gannon's attention, but it's no secret that cornerback will mean a little more for the former defensive back. Rookies stepped up this season, but the lack of experience didn't help a defense that was already decimated with injuries. Antonio Hamilton was the lone veteran in the room, especially after the release of Marco Wilson. After that, Garrett Williams, Kei'Trel Clark, and Starling Thomas, all first-year players, saw the field the most.

If there's a silver lining when examining the position it's the experience the young cornerbacks received early in their NFL careers. The speed of the game won't be as fast next year and they'll have plenty of tape to evaluate throughout the offseason.

A few teams around the league have already or reportedly will place the franchise tag on their top cornerbacks, but if a veteran cornerback hits the market, Monti Ossenfort and Gannon will likely look to make a call. Draft prospects will also be on their mind.

Notable past free agent cornerback signings: Robert Alford (2019); Bené Benwikere (2018); Tramon Williams (2017); Antonio Cromartie (2014); Jerraud Powers (2013); Antoine Cason (2013); William Gay (2012); Bryant McFadden (2009); Roderick Hood (2007); Ralph Brown (2007); David Macklin (2004); Duane Starks (2002).

A look at some of the top cornerbacks across the NFL who are scheduled to become free agents in mid-March