We could be in the midst of another run on cornerbacks. Moments after Brandon Carr signed a free agent deal with the Ravens, the Jets have reached agreement on a deal with cornerback Morris Claiborne, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal worth $5MM, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Rapoport adds that the Jets have offered up more money than the Cowboys. The Jets announced the move.
This marks the Jets’ first significant free agent signing of the offseason. Gang Green made a serious effort to lure Dont’a Hightower away from the Patriots, but that was ultimately fruitless. Hightower, as expected, re-signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, despite a better offer from the Jets.
The Jets’ cornerback group is now led by Claiborne, 2016 draft pick Juston Burris, and Buster Skrine. Skrine, who came to the Jets on an expensive free agent deal in 2015, could be on the chopping block.
Claiborne, 26, was widely labeled as a draft bust for underperforming ever since he was taken No. 6 overall in the 2012 draft. In 2016, he had his best season to date and was ranked as Pro Football Focus 12th-best corner last year year. Unfortunately, however, injuries forced Claiborne to miss more than half of the regular season, though he did return for the playoffs. If not for the injury, Claiborne could have gotten something closer to A.J. Bouye‘s monster deal with the Jaguars.
The Ravens appeared to be Claiborne’s most fervent suitor and they were offering roughly $5MM per year before turning their attention to Carr. Now, it will be interesting to see how Dallas fortifies their cornerback group after losing two playmakers in a matter of minutes.
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