Dre Kirkpatrick

49ers Finalizing Deal With CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Following cornerback Jason Verrett‘s season-ending injury, the 49ers have brought in some reinforcement at the position. The 49ers are finalizing a deal with free agent cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

[RELATED: 49ers Fear Torn ACL For Jason Verrett]

Kirkpatrick has flirted with teams throughout the offseason, previously auditioning for the Saints, Patriots, and Texans. He also worked out for the 49ers recently, and that ended up turning into a contract. The 31-year-old saw time in 14 games (11 starts) for the Cardinals in 2020, finishing with 56 tackles, seven passes defended, and three interceptions. The longtime Bengals starter has totaled 358 tackles, three sacks, 72 passes defensed, and 13 interceptions across nine NFL seasons.

Verrett had a standout season for the 49ers in 2020, and the team brought him back on a one-year deal. Unfortunately, the veteran suffered an ACL tear during yesterday’s victory, ending his season after only one game. The team has already had to shuffle around their cornerbacks corps; the team needed rookie Deommodore Lenoir to fill in for Emmanuel Moseley, and they previously added Josh Norman. Before signing Kirkpatrick, head coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to imply that the team could look for some extra depth at the position.

“With that being the case, I feel we got enough guys in our building,” Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “But that’s something you always got to look to see if there’s anyway you can improve. You always do that.”

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Texans Audition Dre Kirkpatrick

The Texans will work out cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick today (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). If signed, Kirkpatrick will help to fortify Houston’s secondary following the Bradley Roby trade

[RELATED: Texans Trade Bradley Roby To Saints]

Kirkpatrick was a longtime Bengals starter but he has yet to find work this year. He spent 2020 with the Cardinals, appearing in 14 games with eleven starts. He finished out with 56 tackles, seven passes defended, three interceptions, and a much softer market than anticipated. He’s since worked out for the Niners, Saints, and Patriots, but left all of those visits without a deal.

Now 31, Kirkpatrick has totaled 358 tackles, three sacks, 72 passes defensed, and 13 interceptions across nine NFL seasons. The Texans could certainly use his help and it stands to reason that the Buccaneers could also give him a call. On Thursday, the Bucs watched starter Sean Murphy-Bunting suffer a gruesome elbow injury that will sideline him for a good chunk of the year.

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49ers To Work Out Dre Kirkpatrick

The 49ers will audition cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on Friday (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Niners recently placed Emmanuel Moseley on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so the former first-round pick could provide them with extra insurance. 

The Saints and Patriots also took a look at Kirkpatrick this offseason, but the longtime Bengals corner remains unsigned. Kirkpatrick has served as a full-time starter since 2015. All in all, he’s got nine years of NFL experience — eight with the Bengals and one year (2020) with the Cardinals.

Last year, Kirkpatrick appeared in 14 games for Arizona, including eleven starts. He finished out with 56 tackles, seven passes defended, three interceptions, and a much softer market than he anticipated.

Kirkpatrick could land with the 49ers, giving him a chance to see his last club twice in 2021. Whether in SF or elsewhere, the 31-year-old will look to add to his career totals of 358 tackles, three sacks, 72 passes defensed, and 13 interceptions.

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Saints To Meet With Dre Kirkpatrick

The Saints are set to meet with veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Kirkpatrick would provide New Orleans with a proven corner and fill their need for better depth in that group. 

Kirkpatrick met with the Patriots last month, but nothing came of that visit. At least, not yet. That was Kirkpatrick’s first known workout, which is surprising since he’s served as a full-time starter for the last few seasons. He also offers a first-round pedigree, having been drafted 17th overall by the Bengals back in 2012.

After eight years with the Bengals, Kirkpatrick inked a one-year deal with the Cardinals last year. He appeared in 14 games, including 11 starts. He finished out with 56 tackles, seven passes defended, three interceptions, and a much softer market than he anticipated.

If signed, Kirkpatrick could help to fill the void left by Janoris Jenkins‘ departure. They’ve still got Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore as their CB1, but they need better support. For now, they’ve got veteran Patrick Robinson and third-round rookie Paulson Adebo near the top of the chart.

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Patriots To Host Dre Kirkpatrick, Alex Redmond

May 16: No deals are imminent with either player, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. The tryouts just appeared to be a matter of due diligence, and Redmond has another visit lined up with a different club later this week.

May 13: Bill Belichick could be making a significant addition to his secondary. The Patriots are hosting free agent cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on a visit today, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). New England also worked out guard Alex Redmond on Thursday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

This is the first known interest we’ve heard of in Kirkpatrick this offseason, which is somewhat surprising considering he’s been a full-time starter the past handful of years. The Alabama product was originally drafted 17th overall by the Bengals back in 2012. He proceeded to spend the first eight years of his career in Cincinnati before signing a one-year deal with the Cardinals last offseason.

Kirkpatrick appeared in 14 games with Arizona last year, making 11 starts. He finished with 56 tackles, seven passes defended, and three interceptions. The Pats don’t currently have a ton at cornerback beyond Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, and Jonathan Jones. There were trade rumors about Gilmore earlier this offseason, and if he got dealt then they’d certainly need an experienced corner like Kirkpatrick.

Redmond is another ex-Bengal, an UDFA who signed with Cincy in 2016. He started 15 games for the Bengals in 2018, and then nine over the past two seasons. The UCLA product turned 26 in January and would be decent interior line depth behind guards Shaq Mason and Michael Onwenu.

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Cardinals To Sign Dre Kirkpatrick

The Cardinals are planning to sign Dre Kirkpatrick, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The free agent cornerback is currently meeting with team brass and the one-year deal should be finalized once he passes his physical.

Kirkpatrick will reunite with his former positional coach, Vance Joseph. Joseph, now the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator, helped guide Kirkpatrick through some of his formative years with the Bengals.

Robert Alford‘s latest injury has left the Cardinals thin at cornerback once again. As it stands, they have 2019 second-rounder Byron Murphy as their top counterpart for star Patrick Peterson. Their recent additions of B.W. Webb and former Saints starter Ken Crawley may help, but Kirkpatrick would bring experience and a first-round pedigree to the group.

Kirkpatrick has also been connected to the Vikings and Raiders this offseason, thanks to connections with former coaches Mike Zimmer and Paul Guenther. Nothing materialized on either front, however, leaving Kirkpatrick to wait.

Kirkpatrick played just six games last season before he was sidelined by a knee injury. In the offseason, the Bengals dropped him to save $8.3MM against the cap. Now 30, Kirkpatrick comes to Arizona with 67 starts under his belt and the potential to help salvage Joseph’s pass coverage corps.

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Cardinals Hosting Dre Kirkpatrick On Visit

The Cardinals have already signed a former Bengals cornerback, agreeing to terms with B.W. Webb. They are now going back to Vance Joseph‘s days in Cincinnati to explore another addition to their secondary.

Longtime Bengals corner Dre Kirkpatrick is visiting the Cardinals, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Bengals drafted Kirkpatrick in the first round in 2012, and his eight-year Ohio stay overlapped with Joseph’s two-year stint (2014-15) as Bengals secondary coach.

Arizona again lost Robert Alford for the season, again leaving the team shorthanded opposite Patrick Peterson. Although the Cards feature 2019 second-rounder Byron Murphy, they have added Webb and ex-Saints starter Ken Crawley this week. Kirkpatrick would continue the veteran-heavy approach the team is now taking at this position.

Interestingly, Kirkpatrick’s free agency rumors have centered around his former coaches. Both the Vikings and Raiders, whose defenses are respectively run by ex-Bengals DCs Mike Zimmer and Paul Guenther, showed interest earlier this year. But each team moved in another direction. Kirkpatrick moved into a full-time starting role under Joseph in 2015, helping the Bengals to their best season in decades.

A knee injury ended up ending Kirkpatrick’s Bengals run. He played just six games last season and became a cap casualty this year. But the former Alabama standout, now 30, brings 67 starts’ worth of experience.

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Raiders To Sign Prince Amukamara

The Raiders are set to sign cornerback Prince Amukamara, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The financial terms are not yet known, but Garafolo hears that everything is in place for a deal. 

The former first-round pick has been looking for work since he was cut by the Bears in February. His career began with the Giants, where he spent the first five seasons of his career. After that, he spent a year with the Jaguars before signing yet another one-year pact – this time with the Bears – in 2017. In 2018, they gave him a three-year, $27MM re-up, but he did not get to see the last year of that deal.

Amukamara was a key player in the Bears’ secondary as he started alongside Kyle Fuller. Now, he’ll spend his age-31 season and ninth pro year in Las Vegas.

Last year, Amukamara graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 41 corner in the NFL – he fared better in 2018, when the Bears had the league’s best D. For his career, Amukamara has started in 99 of his 113 games – he’s more or less been first-string for every campaign except his rookie year. With the Raiders, he’ll fight for his place alongside Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, slot/safety Lamarcus Joyner, Amik Robertson, Isaiah Johnson, and Nevin Lawson.

If the Amukamara deal should fall though for some reason, look for Las Vegas to pivot to Dre Kirkpatrick. The longtime Bengal, whom Cincinnati released at the end of March, is a fallback option for the Raiders, per NFL insider Adam Caplan (via Twitter). It sounds as if the Raiders will not pursue Kirkpatrick if the Amukamara deal is finalized, but Las Vegas could probably stand to add another veteran CB to its depth chart.

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Vikings Have Dre Kirkpatrick On The Radar

The Vikings are “kicking the tires” on Dre Kirkpatrick, according to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson (Twitter link). However, their interest is still in the preliminary stage.

[RELATED: Vikings Pursuing Anthony Harris Extension]

The Bengals dropped Kirkpatrick in late March to save $8.3MM against the cap while making room for former Vikings corner Trae Waynes, who inked a three-year, $42MM pact. If the Vikings sign Kirkpatrick, the two teams could wind up with a cornerback trade of sorts with Mackensie Alexander also headed to Cincy.

The history between Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and Kirkpatrick could play a role here. Zimmer was on the Bengals’ coaching staff when they drafted Kirkpatrick in the first round of the 2012 draft. Meanwhile, new Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones has spent the previous two seasons with the Bengals. There are connections aplenty, and Kirkpatrick may profile as a potential add at this stage of the offseason.

For his career, Kirkpatrick has 99 appearances to his credit over the course of eight seasons. Last year, his season was cut short by a hyperextended knee injury, leaving him with a stat line of 33 tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery in six games. Before that, in 2018, he allowed just 44.4% of the targets thrown his way to be caught, good for the second-best rate in the NFL.

After losing Waynes, Alexander, and Rhodes, the Vikings are left with a green group of CBs. As it stands, Mike Hughes and Holton Hill profile as the team’s top corners.

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Bengals To Release Dre Kirkpatrick

The Bengals will release cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, according to ESPN.com’s Ben Baby (Twitter link). The move will save Cincy $8.3MM against the salary cap, giving them even more cash to work with in the second half of the offseason. 

Kirkpatrick is just the latest vet to be jettisoned by the Bengals. All in all, they’ve freed up more than $23MM by cutting veterans in the last couple of months.

The Kirkpatrick release doesn’t come as a surprise after the Bengals inked Trae Waynes to a three-year, $42MM deal that will pay him approximately $20MM in 2020. Kirkpatrick, a former first-round pick, should find plenty of interest from cornerback-needy teams, though his market will be somewhat limited since many teams have already addressed that gap.

Since 2012, Kirkpatrick has appeared in 99 games over the course of eight seasons. Last year, his season was cut short by a hyperextended knee injury. He finished out with 33 tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery in six contests. In 2018, he allowed just 44.4% of the targets thrown his way to be caught, good for the second-best rate in the NFL.

The Bengals will also be moving forward without Darqueze Dennard, who left in free agency to sign with the Jaguars. Waynes will be among their new headliners and he’ll be joined by fellow ex-Viking Mackensie Alexander. Former Titans corner LeShaun Sims will also be in the CB mix.

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