With free agency set to begin in mid-March, Redskins.com previews the 2019 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus starts with the cornerbacks.
Last season the Redskins dealt with some injury problems at cornerback. After a red-hot start, Quinton Dunbar went down with an injury that would force him to miss nine games. The other full-time starting cornerback, Josh Norman was able to stay healthy throughout the season, starting all 16 games.
Along with Dunbar and Norman, Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Adonis Alexander, Joshua Holsey and Harlan Miller are all under contract with the Redskins for 2019.
Here are the top five free agents at the position, along with a full list below.
Despite injury concerns over the past two seasons, Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerback Ronald Darby is still one of the better defensive backs in the NFL.
Darby has spent four seasons in the NFL, with his first two being in Buffalo and his latest two being in Philadelphia. In his first two seasons, Darby started all 29 games he played in and was one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL. In those two years, he had 137 total tackles with four tackles for loss. Defending the pass, Darby had 33 passes defensed and two interceptions.
After his second season, Darby was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. In his two seasons there, Darby has only played in 17 games, missing time due to injury. In those 17 games, Darby has 77 tackles with one tackle for loss, along with 21 passes defensed and four interceptions. In the Eagles’ Super Bowl win over New England, Darby had four tackles and two passes defensed.
Despite going undrafted in 2015, Chicago Bears cornerback Bryce Callahan has carved out a good career for himself so far. Callahan has spent all four of his NFL seasons in Chicago starting 29 of the 45 games he has played in. In that time, Callahan has gotten 122 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, 20 passes defensed, four interceptions and has forced a fumble.
This past season, Callahan was the seventh highest-rated cornerback in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Callahan played 13 games for the Chicago Bears getting 45 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, six passes defensed and two interceptions.**
In his four years with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers, Jason Verrett has shown that he is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. Unfortunately, he has not had much time to show that ability, as he has suffered injury problems consistently throughout his career. Verrett’s lone Pro Bowl season was in 2015, his second NFL season. That year he started 14 games, getting 47 tackles with two tackles for loss, 12 passes defensed and three interceptions, with one of them being returned for a touchdown.
In his other three seasons in the NFL, Verrett has played a combined 11 games. This past year, Verrett did not play a single game after suffering a torn achilles in training camp. In 2016 and 2017, Verrett only played in four games and one game respectively.
For the last 10 NFL seasons, Jason McCourty has been a very solid cornerback. He spent his first eight seasons with the Tennessee Titans, the 2017 season with the Cleveland Browns, and he spent the past season with the New England Patriots.
McCourty had a career year this past year at the ripe age of 31. In 16 games with the New England Patriots, he had 70 tackles with one being for a loss, one forced fumble, 10 passes defensed and one interception. He was also the sixth highest-rated cornerback in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.
In his first nine seasons, McCourty had 464 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, one sack, eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 87 passes defensed, 16 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
After spending the first four years of his NFL career as a depth cornerback for the Denver Broncos, Bradley Roby finally became the starter this past season. He started all 15 games that he played in for Denver, getting 50 tackles, 12 passes defensed and one interception.
In his first four seasons, Roby played in 16 games every single year, but only started 14 games over that span, never starting more than four in one season. During those 64 games, Roby had 168 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 48 passes defensed, six interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
Other notable free agent cornerbacks: Kareem Jackson, Steven Nelson, Trevor Williams, Morris Claiborne, Rashaan Melvin