Robert McClain

Cardinals To Host CB Robert McClain

Free agent cornerback Robert McClain will meet with the Cardinals on Thursday, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle first reported Arizona’s interest in McClain.

McClain would be a natural fit with the Cardinals for several reasons, with coaching familiarity being a primary factor. McClain played for the Panthers in 2015-16 when now-Arizona head coach Steve Wilks served as Carolina’s defensive backs coach. Additionally, the Cardinals are in need of defensive back depth after releasing Tyrann Mathieu and losing Tramon Williams to the Packers. Tyvon Branch, Justin Bethel, and C.J. Goodwin, meanwhile, are still on the open market.

Typically a slot corner, McClain saw the most playing time of his career in 2017, as he was on the field for 75% of the Buccaneers’ defensive snaps. In 14 games (nine starts), the 29-year-old McClain posted a career-high three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against now-Cardinals quarterback Mike Glennon.

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Cardinals Interested In CB Robert McClain

The Cardinals are among the teams interested in free agent cornerback Robert McClain, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the incumbent Buccaneers are also hoping to re-sign him

[RELATED: Cardinals’ Depth Chart]

McClain, 30 in July, saw time both on the outside and in the slot for Tampa Bay in 2017. He amassed 46 tackles, five passes defensed, three interceptions, and one touchdown – a 47-yard pick six against Mike Glennon during his short stint as the Bears’ starting quarterback.

McClain’s best year came with the Falcons in 2012, though he also had a respectable year with Carolina in 2013 and looked solid last year with the Bucs. He could help to fortify the Cardinals depth chart as cornerbacks Tyvon Branch, Tramon Williams, and Justin Bethel remain in free agency limbo. Of course, the Cardinals are also without Tyrann Mathieu, who signed with the Texans after being released in a cap-driven move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Interested In Re-Signing Robert McClain

The Buccaneers are interested in extending Robert McClain‘s time in Tampa to beyond one season.

Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports the Bucs are considering re-signing the cornerback. McClain started nine games for the team last season, working both on the outside and in the slot.

A key rotational cog for the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, McClain has played for three of the four NFC South teams — with his three-year Falcons run from 2012-14 being his longest NFL stay — and is entering his age-30 season.

Tampa Bay has Brent Grimes as a UFA as well, so the franchise has a need at cornerback despite using a first-round pick on Vernon Hargreaves two years ago.

Buccaneers To Sign CB Robert McClain

The Buccaneers have signed cornerback Robert McClain, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. McClain played for Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith when they were both in Atlanta. "<strong

McClain was a quality corner under Smith’s watch, but his play has sharply regressed in recent years. Last year, the Panthers released him and that was a particularly bad look since the secondary was lousy overall. He later hooked on with the Chargers but didn’t find success there either. Overall, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 103 cornerback out of 111 qualified players in 2016.

McClain’s best year came with the Falcons in 2012, under Smith’s watch, though he also had a respectable year with Carolina in 2013. In every season since, he has been near the bottom of PFF’s CB standings.

The Bucs will start rising sophomore Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes at corner. Josh Robinson, Jude Adjel-Barimah, and Javien Elliott are among those currently slated for reserve roles. The Bucs did not select a cornerback in the draft this year, though they did sign some CBs as UDFAs.

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Chargers Claim CB Robert McClain

The Chargers announced that they have claimed Robert McClain off of waivers. The cornerback was dropped by the Panthers late last week.

The Bolts will now kick the tires on a veteran player who has been pretty mediocre for the last few seasons. This year, Pro Football Focus has him ranked as just the No. 115 cornerback in the league out of 123 qualified players. His best year came with the Falcons in 2012 but he had a respectable year with Carolina in 2013. Since then, he has been barely above replacement level, according to the advanced metrics.

The Chargers have Brandon Flowers and Casey Hayward atop their cornerback depth chart with Craig Mager, Trevor Williams, Trovon Reed, and now McClain in reserve. The addition of McClain could be a sign that Flowers will need some additional time to recover from his concussion.

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Panthers Cut CB Robert McClain

The Panthers are getting rid of yet another cornerback. The team has released Robert McClain, a source tells Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

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McClain started Super Bowl 50 for the Panthers, but his role decreased this year after the Panthers drafted three cornerbacks. Of course, the team hasn’t gotten the best results out of its secondary after dropping Josh Norman and kickstarting a youth movement. In fact, fifth-round pick Zack Sanchez didn’t even make the 53-man roster to start the year.

McClain’s individual performance has been pretty bad this season. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the No. 115 cornerback in the NFL out of 123 qualified players. Interestingly, it has been a while since PFF was high on McClain. While with the Falcons in 2012, he earned an 84.0 overall mark, which positioned him as a starting-caliber CB. In 2013, he regressed to a 70.1 grade, which still put him on the fringes of a cornerback worthy of starting. Since then, he has basically been in the cellar in terms of advanced metrics.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign Robert McClain; Benwikere To IR

The Panthers have begun to address their depth issues in the secondary, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed free agent cornerback Robert McClain. In a corresponding roster move, the club placed corner Bene Benwikere on the injured reserve list due to a broken leg.

Five years ago, McClain began his career with the Panthers after being selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the team, so it’s a homecoming of sorts for the 27-year-old. McClain last played for the Falcons, starting 15 of 47 games for Atlanta from the 2012 to 2014 seasons. A year ago, he compiled 59 tackles to go along with two interceptions and a sack.

While McClain will provide some veteran depth in the Panthers’ defensive backfield, another move may be coming later this week for Carolina. Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review hears from multiple sources that cornerback Charles Tillman has been dealing with a partially torn ACL, adding that an IR stint seems likely for the veteran.

Voth and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer both indicate that the team is expected to promote cornerback Lou Young from the practice squad to take Tillman’s place on the roster, assuming the veteran’s knee doesn’t show signs of improvement this week.

Workout Notes: Raiders, Colts, Packers

Today’s workouts from around the league:

Panthers Work Out Finnegan, Other CBs

With Charles Tillman out of action for the last two games, the Panthers have been a little short-handed in the secondary, and are searching for some potential help for their slot cornerback spot. A day after a Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys, Carolina brought in several free agent corners, including Cortland Finnegan, as Bill Voth of the Black and Blue Review details.

Despite the fact that Finnegan announced his retirement in March, the former seventh-round pick hired agent Drew Rosenhaus in the summer, and suggested he was open to an NFL return. At the time, Rosenhaus said that he was “working on teams” for Finnegan, who indicated a willingness to play either cornerback or safety. The 31-year-old has since auditioned for the Patriots.

In addition to working out Finnegan, the Panthers also brought in veteran cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain for tryouts, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Fletcher, who appeared in 71 games (54 starts) over six seasons for the Rams and Eagles, started the 2015 season in New England, but was released by the Patriots in October. McClain was also a Patriot before becoming a free agent, having been let go by Bill Belichick and company at the end of the preseason.

With no reports of signings yet, it appears the Panthers may just be getting the lay of the land for now, with an eye toward identifying the veteran cornerbacks they like in case it becomes necessary to add one.

AFC Notes: S. Smith, McClain, Revis, Manziel

There has been speculation the Ravens might try to talk wide receiver Steve Smith out of his plan to retire after the season or that Smith will change his mind. However, the veteran says that nothing has changed. “I’m on schedule for what I discussed earlier in the year,” the wide receiver said, according to Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com.

Here’s more from the AFC..

  • If Smith is still retiring, the Ravens should trade him to a contender, Mike Florio of PFT opines. The Ravens are at 1-5 and, for all intents and purposes, they’re probably done in 2015. Florio suggests that the Packers would be a great fit for a savvy veteran like Smith.
  • Free agent cornerback Robert McClain has worked out or visited eight teams since being cut on September 5th, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The veteran’s latest visit was to the Steelers on Wednesday, per Yates. McClain’s recent visits have also included the Bears and Saints.
  • Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis told reporters, including Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter), that he never expected to return to the Patriots this past offseason. “No, the number was too high,” the corner said.
  • Johnny Manziel should be on paid leave from the Browns for his recent altercation with his girlfriend, Christine Brennan of USA Today Sports writes. Manziel’s girlfriend declined to press charges over the matter and the all of the facts are still unknown, but Brennan feels that the former Texas A&M star should be sidelined until everything comes to light.
  • On the Quick Slants podcast, CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and Adam Hart discussed the Patriots secondary and the possibility of making an addition via trade.