DB Rumors: Byrd, Whitner, 49ers, Cromartie

Cornerback is one of the deepest positions on the free agent market this year, and there are plenty of intriguing names among the free agent safeties as well. Let’s dive in and check out the latest rumors on defensive backs….

  • A source told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link) last night that the asking price for the top free agent safeties ranged from $6MM (Donte Whitner) to $8MM (Jairus Byrd) per year, with T.J. Ward in the middle at $7MM. Biggs admits that he’s not sure if that’s changed today.
  • Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link) hears that Byrd is asking for more than $8MM, and while that price has scared some teams away, the safety may ultimately land that amount.
  • It’s highly unlikely that the Bears land Whitner, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter), who adds that it sounds like Chicago is looking elsewhere for a safety. The team also isn’t likely to be a major player for Byrd, tweets Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • The 49ers and Tarell Brown both appear to be testing the market, with San Francisco exploring other cornerback options and Brown looking into other suitors. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the Niners have checked in on Nolan Carroll.
  • Top free agent cornerback Alterraun Verner told SiriusXM’s Chris Russo the Patriots are “definitely a possibility” and added that Devin McCourty has been “lobbying” for him to come to New England, tweets Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com.
  • Antonio Cromartie told ESPN Radio New York that the Jets never tried to renegotiate his current deal but the “door is open” for a return, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. It sounds like he’ll test the market and assess all his options though.
  • John Clayton of ESPN.com (on Twitter) offers up an early prediction that Patriots free agent cornerback Aqib Talib will end up with the Redskins.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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