Reporting Justin Pawlowski
There is little doubt that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to improve their secondary this off-season.
There has also been little doubt that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be signing a cornerback in free agency.
The real debate has revolved around which of the many cornerbacks available the Buccaneers will target as “their” guy.
This off-season will provide numerous cornerback names recognizable to many fans. Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, and Brent Grimes are just a few of the top names available in free agency. While those names being the top ones available, this free agency does not lack depth at corner either.
Cary Williams, 28, is an interesting name after just winning a Super Bowl with the Ravens.
Antoine Cason, 26, is a young and physical corner who plays well in press coverage.
Mike Jenkins, 27, has been completely replaced in Dallas, but had his best days in Tampa playing for the USF Bulls.
Greg Toler, 28, might be one of the more underrated corners in football.
Older players like Rashean Mathis and Quentin Jammer will also be available.
I think we can also factor in Chris Gamble of the Carolina Panthers who is likely to be released after being the Panthers top cover corner over the past nine seasons.
With all of those players mentioned in a very deep free agent corner class this year, I believe, from the rumblings I’ve heard, the Bucs top corner target in free agency this year could be Derek Cox of the Jaguars.
Cox, 26, is one of the best cornerbacks that not many people know about. Cox has a nice blend of size (6’1” 195 lbs) and speed (4.39) and is very good in press and man coverage.
The Bucs new defensive backs coach, Tony Oden, spent 2012 with the Jaguars and knows the type of player Cox can be.
The main concern with Derek Cox has been his durability. After playing in all 16 games as a rookie in 2009, Cox has missed 17 games due to various injuries in the past 3 seasons. When healthy and on the field, Cox has been touted as a “secret superstar” and could pay big dividends for a Bucs secondary that was among the worst in NFL history last season.
NFL free agency begins on March 12 at 4:00.
Catch The Commish weekdays from 9-12 on 98.7 The Fan.