Being a Houston Texans fan and hearing Nnamdi Asomugha’s name, announced as a member of Battle Red Battalion, will most certainly bring a smile across the faces of even the most pessimistic of Texans fans. But like the pessimist, we as fans must prepare ourselves for the fact Asomugha more than likely will not end up in a Houston Texans uniform. Due to this “glass half empty” outlook the need to become familiar with a few other options that could turn out be the Houston Texans corner back-up plan seems to be a must.
There are only an elite few top caliber corners that stand to be free agents once the lockout is lifted. After the top three or four corners fall there will be another two to three that are serviceable corners. Once those three vacate the open market the silver lining begins to become tarnished.
In an attempt to acquaint ourselves with a few of the cornerbacks that could find their services available on the open market. And in hopes of being prepped so no fan will feel blindsided when Christmas doesn’t come earlier for everyone in a Houston Texans jersey, let’s review the back-up plans.
Okay, so Nnamdi decides to take his services else where. In no specific order but definitely one of the top three DB’s on the market left is Johnathan Joseph. Earlier this year the Bengals slapped Joseph with a 1st & 3rd round tender, however Joseph could end-up unrestricted as a fifth year veteran all dependent upon the new CBA once it’s negotiated. Joseph, 26, is one of the NFL’s top young CB’s and could command a lot of attention on the free agent market if Joseph in facts becomes unrestricted.
Antonio Cromartie will be allowed to walk by the New York Jets. The Jets know Cromartie will likely strike it rich after using New York as a stopping point, during the last year of his deal with the Chargers, in order to revive a career that had begin to head south in San Diego. QBs only completed 44% of the passes thrown Cromartie’s way last year. If the Texans miss on Asomugha or chose not to pursue Nnamdi then Antonio Cromartie is a viable option.
Ike Taylor of the Pittsburgh Steelers is another defensive back facing free agency uncertainty. The two time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers has already been quoted as saying Pittsburgh is, “like home“. Taylor also mentioned not knowing who his next contract would be with. Not to be the barer of bad news here but fans shouldn’t get to excited about Taylor. Ike Taylor has grown to love everything Pittsburgh and absolutely adores Dick LeBeau as a mentor and father figure. Besides with the possibility that both William Gay and Bryant McFadden won’t be returning to Pittsburgh makes it almost a lock that at least Ike Taylor is resigned by the black and yellow.
The 49ers are about to be forced to make a difficult decision when it comes to Nate Clements. Clements considers himself a shutdown corner but Clements’ current employer doesn’t. The 49ers signed Clements to a 8 year 80 million dollar contract back in 2007 and 15 million of that contract is due in 2011. Unless Clements restructures his deal then Clements will probably end up being cut and odds are another team won’t pick up him or his hefty salary. Clements could be a very decent pick-up if the price is right for the Texans and not what Clements thinks he is worth.
Carlos Rogers may not be the caliber of the previously mentioned three. Rogers is however absolutely a serviceable corner. Especially when it’s looking like the Texans could be going into the season with 2nd year player Kareem Jackson on one side and one of two rookies taken in this years NFL draft on the other. Rogers considers himself the 2nd best cornerback behind Asomugha, some believe Rogers could be 3rd best but I’m putting him behind Asomugha, Croamrtie, Joseph and Josh Wilson.
Speaking of Josh Wilson. Wilson is the last person on this list as good to serviceable corners that could allow the Houston Texans to allocate funds toward needs at other positions. Pro Football Focus called Wilson a secret superstar. cornerback last season but could end up being only a restricted free agent. Everyone should remember last season’s Monday night performance by Wilson here at Reliant Stadium. Once again dependent upon the new CBA.
Eric Wright of the Cleveland Browns is the last guy on the list. Wright showed glimpses of a number one corner in the league during both his 2008 & 2009 seasons. But ended up with a disastrous contract season. Wright was eventually benched in favor of rookie Joe Haden. Offering up a one year contract could be in the best interest of both parties. If Wright regains his 2009 form then the Texans win and sign him to a longer deal and if Wright doesn’t then Houston can be washed clean of the defensive back.
There’s an enormous amount of talk that the Texans need to break the bank and over spend in order to get Nnamdi Asomugha into a Texans uniform. Count me as a detractor and Mr. Pessimist. Let’s remember that the Texans still need to pay Vonta Leech and address the Safety issue in free agency. The lack of production at the 2nd wide receiver should warrant some consideration during free agency as well. As much as having Nnamdi in a Texans uniform would excite everyone around Houston this year, I’m not so sure financially it’d be the right move.
Then again we are but a few men with even fewer opinions so let us here at Toro Times know what you think.
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