8:11am: Another top free agent has come off the board, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Washington has agreed to terms on a four-year contract for former 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver. Per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the deal will pay Culliver about $8MM per year, just below the annual rates earned by fellow free agent corners Brandon Flowers and Kareem Jackson.
One of two Niners starting cornerbacks eligible for free agency, along with Perrish Cox, Culliver is coming off his first full season as a starter in San Francisco. The 26-year-old adapted to the new role admirably, recording 45 tackles, four interceptions, and 15 passes defended.
Culliver also limited opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 50.7% and a 66.5 passer rating when they threw into his coverage, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). PFF’s grades placed Culliver as the 14th-best cornerback out of 108 qualified players.
For Washington, Culliver will help shore up a secondary whose cornerbacks got burned on a regular basis in 2014. Bashaud Breeland, E.J. Biggers, and David Amerson saw the majority of the snaps at the position for the team, and all three corners ranked in PFF’s bottom 10 at the position. Biggers is also eligible for free agency.
When I listed PFR’s top 50 free agents last Saturday, I ranked Culliver 24th, and fourth among cornerbacks, behind Byron Maxwell, Flowers, and Jackson. Culliver becomes the third defender in our top 50 to sign with Washington this week, following Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton to D.C.