Free Agency Diary

2016’s Top Free Agent Cornerbacks

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The 2016 free agent class of cornerbacks has a surprising amount of depth and teams who are willing to open their checkbooks can get some very good starting caliber football players.  Here are the best unrestricted free agent cornerbacks available.

  1. Prince Amukamara, New York Giants- At 26 years old, Amukamara is a former first-round pick who has shown great ability when healthy.  He can play outside or inside and is a great community guy and asset to any locker room.  Best fits: New York Giants, New York Jets, Jacksonville, Detroit, Indianapolis, Houston, Cincinnati, Green Bay.
  2. Janoris Jenkins, Los Angeles Rams- There were major character question marks about Jenkins when he was coming out of the University of Florida, but he’s been a solid citizen since being selected by the Rams.  Jenkins makes big plays and it’s up in the air whether the Rams did the right thing by franchising Trumaine Johnson instead of him.  Best fits: Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Houston, New England, Indianapolis. 
  3. Sean Smith, Kansas City Chiefs- Smith is a tall, long-armed cornerback who makes big plays. It’s likely that the Chiefs would like to keep him, but they have too many free agents to get into a bidding war.  Best fits: Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Detroit, Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta. 
  4. Casey Hayward, Green Bay Packers– Hayward has been a solid cornerback for the Packers and his fine play allowed the team to move on from Charles Woodson and Davon House in recent years.  It’s likely that the Packers will make a play to bring him back, albeit at their price.  Best fits: Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Houston, New England, Baltimore. 
  5. Jeremy Lane, Seattle Seahawks– Lane is a really underrated free agent as he was a forgotten man after his injury in Super Bowl XLIX. At 25 years old, the best days of his career are ahead of him and he’ll be a nice signing for some team.  Best fits: Seattle, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, New England. 
  6. Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals- Hall is a former first-round pick who has had a nice career. When healthy, he’s been one of the best cornerbacks in football.  At 31 years old, he shouldn’t be an immediate signing, but still has plenty left in the tank. Best fits: Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Baltimore. 
  7. Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets- Cromartie is the ultimate boom or bust cornerback, as he is a true gambler who makes big plays and gives them up. He has great size and athleticism, bt his age (31) should limit interest from teams.  Best fits: New York Jets, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Seattle, Philadelphia. 
  8. Adam Pacman Jones, Cincinnati Bengals- Jones is still a very good cornerback and he adds an extra dimension as a punt returner.  As talented as the former first-round pick is, he is a bit of a headcase that will lose composure from time to time.  Best fits: Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Atlanta, Houston.
  9. Antonio Allen, New York Jets- Allen is still young enough to rebound from some injuries that led to inconsistent play.  He can play either cornerback or safety and shouldn’t break the bank.  Best fits: New York Jets, Buffalo, Atlanta, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Baltimore. 
  10. Patrick Robinson, San Diego Chargers- Robinson has always been a great athlete, but disappointed after being a first-round pick by the New Orleans Saints.  He had a bounce back season in San Diego and has raised his market value as a secondary type of free agent.  Best fits: San Diego, New York Jets, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston. 

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.