CB Notes: Giants, Cromartie, Cardinals, 49ers

Passing yardage totals have risen in the NFL every year since 2008, and in 2015 reached an all-time high, with the average club throwing for 243.8 yards per game. As such, not only are quarterback and wide receiver salaries increasing, but those who are paid to defend the pass — namely cornerbacks — are seeing their earnings increase, as well. Let’s take a look at the latest on the cornerback market:

  • The Giants invested heavily in their secondary over the past several months, signing free agent cornerback Janoris Jenkins to a five-year deal and selecting Ohio State corner Eli Apple with the No. 10 pick in last month’s draft. But the club might not be finished upgrading, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who expects New York to bring in a veteran corner who can man the slot. The Giants have been linked to several experienced cover men recently, including Jerraud Powers (who was reportedly offered approximately $2MM before signing with the Ravens) and Leon Hall, who visited the team last week. Chris Culliver, Alan Ball, Trumaine McBride, and Charles Tillman are among the corners still left on the market.
  • Having lost the aforementioned Powers to Baltimore, the Cardinals don’t have a ton of depth in the defensive backfield, and might not even have a clear starter opposite Patrick Peterson, as Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com details. Free agent (and former Cardinal) Antonio Cromartie doesn’t seem to be on the club’s radar, per Weinfuss, which would leave Justin Bethel as the best option to start. Bethel’s strengths lie on special teams, however, and third-round corner Brandon Williams might need some time to develop after having played CB for just one season at Texas A&M.
  • 49ers general manager Trent Baalke has selected three corners in each of the past two drafts, and as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com explains, the San Francisco executive clearly understands the need to accumulate secondary depth. “I think you’re seeing that trend league-wide,” Baalke said. “There’s a premium put on those players. It’s going to be extremely important moving forward to create as much depth and competition at that position as you can.” Maiocco touches on several other topics within the piece, including what the 49ers will do with their nearly $50MM in cap space, and why the club is unlikely to reunite with veteran receiver Anquan Boldin.
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