With free agency looming, we are getting our first idea of what cornerbacks are aiming for on the market. And the short answer is – a lot.
Janoris Jenkins reportedly turned down a 5 year, $45 million deal from the St. Louis Rams and then proceeded to fire his agent, according to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole. Though it’s not known the particulars of the deal, including the all-important guaranteed money, he is expected to seek close to $12 million average yearly value.
Jenkins is looking to set the bar in the market but he’s not the only corner wanting to get paid. Sean Smith, a player fans have wanted to sign, is asking between $8 to 10 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.
That will create a trickle down effect for the rest of the market, raising the price for everyone else. The higher than expected cap number and numerous teams that have tons of space are all other driving factors.
After a down 2014, the group cashed in last year. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Flowers, Byron Maxwell, Kareem Jackson, Chris Culliver, Tramon Williams, and Antonio Cromartie all received deals that averaged at least $7 million per season, though they had varying degrees of security.
Even for those hoping to target players like Prince Amukamara or Patrick Robinson, you can still expect it to cost a lot to bring one of those in. Specific numbers are tough to target but five million per year would seem as a reasonable floor.
It’s also a good ceiling for William Gay, who sounds likely to hit free agency, though Kevin Colbert has expressed a desire to re-sign him. Spending that much, or more, on two cornersbacks – Gay and an outsider – would be extremely uncharacteristic of Pittsburgh, who have never spent big-money on a free agent corner under Colbert.
The most they’ve ever spent on a free agent corner is a three year, $4.5 million deal to bring Gay back in 2013. Revis made $16 million in base salary along this year.
Anticipating the team to make a splash at corner is unrealistic both philosophically and fiscally. They are much more likely to make a play at safety given their history , lower market value than corner, and team need.
You can’t assume anything about a team, especially as a blogger who does not have an inside track on things, but I am confident the team will bring back Gay, possibly re-sign Antwon Blake to a one-year deal, and maybe make one small signing in free agency. A Shareece Wright or Jerraud Powers type for 2-3 million per season.