The free agency period for the 2013 season begins at 4:00pm on Tuesday, March 12.
Here is a list of select Defensive Backs who will be unrestricted free agents at that time. These players can re-sign with their current teams at any time and can begin to negotiate with other teams beginning on March 9th.
Antoine Cason/CB/Chargers (6’1, 195): A steady five-year performer for San Diego, Cason is hitting the open market. Cason, 26, has at least two interceptions in each of his five NFL seasons. The 2008 first-round pick out of Arizona has 12 career interceptions and 55 career pass deflections.
Brent Grimes/CB/Falcons (5’10, 183): After being hit with the franchise tag following the 2011 season, Grimes played just one game for Atlanta in ’12 thanks to an Achilles’ injury that knocked him out of their Week 1 game at Kansas City. Since coming into the league in 2007, Grimes has 13 interceptions, 11 of which came in 2009 and 2010, when he was an alternate for the Pro Bowl.
Chris Houston/CB/Lions (5’11, 178): Like Grimes, Houston came into the league in 2007 and in his time in Detroit, has picked up 11 interceptions, three of which have been returned for touchdowns (one for 100 yards). He played and started in 14 games in 2012, picked off two passes, forced two fumbles and had 56 tackles. UPDATE: Houston signed a five-year deal to remain in Detroit, 3/13
Leodis McKelvin/CB/Bills (5’10, 185): A first round pick out of Troy in 2008, McKelvin is a dangerous return man who took two punts to the house in 2012 before landing on IR late in the season with a groin injury. He is also the franchise record holder for punt return yards in a season. As a corner, he has six career interceptions in 64 games, including one in 2012. UPDATE- McKelvin and the Bills agreed to terms on Saturday, 3/9.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie/CB/Eagles (6’2, 182): In his first five NFL seasons (three with Arizona and the last two with Philadelphia), Rodgers-Cromartie has collected 16 interceptions, a quarter of which have been returned for touchdowns. The 26-year old out of Tennessee State started all 16 games for the Eagles in 2012 and picked off three passes while collecting a career-high 51 tackles. UPDATE – Rodgers-Cromartie signed a one-year deal with the Broncos, 3/13
Sean Smith/CB/Dolphins (6’3, 218): The tallest of this group of free agent corners, the former second round pick hits free agency for the first time in his career. Smith tied his career-high with two interceptions in 2012 and has five picks in his four years in Miami. After starting all 16 games his rookie year, he started eight in 2010, but once again started every game for the Dolphins in both 2011 and ’12. The Finsiders recently discussed Smith’s future and possible contract demands. UPDATE – Smith agrees to a three-year deal with the Chiefs, 3/14
Aquib Talib/CB/Patriots (6’1, 205): Sent from Tampa (along with a 7th round pick) to New England for a fourth round pick during the 2012 season, Talib picked up two interceptions in his 10 games played with the two teams. In his career, the former first round selection has 19 interceptions, including a career-high six in 2010. He has returned four picks for touchdowns in his career, including a 59-yard TD this season with New England.
Cary Williams/CB/Ravens (6’1. 190): The 28-year-old Williams had his best season in 2012, finishing with 75 tackles and four interceptions (including a 63-yard touchdown). A 2008 seventh-round pick out of Washburn, Williams spent his first two seasons in Tennessee before heading to Baltimore, playing on a limited basis before starting all 16 games for the Ravens in 2011 and 2012. Williams, a Miami native and graduate of Chaminade-Madonna, has 179 tackles and four interceptions in his career.
Jairus Byrd/S/Bills (5’10, 203): Another familiar AFC East name, Byrd has 18 interceptions in his four year career including five in 2012 and nine in his rookie season. He started all 16 games for Buffalo in 2012 and in addition to the five interceptions, he collected 76 tackles and forced four fumbles. Originally a second round pick out of Oregon in 2009, Byrd has played in 62 of 64 games since entering the league. UPDATE – The Bills placed their franchise designation on Byrd
Chris Clemons/S/Dolphins (6’1, 214): A fifth round pick of the Dolphins in 2009, Clemons started all 16 games in 2012 for the first time in his career. In doing so, he collected a career-high 98 tackles and two interceptions. In his four years in Miami, he has 185 tackles, three picks, nine passes defensed and a sack and a half. UPDATE -Re-signed with the Dolphins, 3/13
Dashon Goldson/S/49ers (6’2, 200): A fourth round pick in 2007, Goldson became a regular defensive contributor for the 49ers in 2009, when he started all 16 games. Since then, he has collected 14 interceptions, three sacks and five forced fumbles. In 2012, he started all 16 regular season games for San Francisco and was a critical part of the defensive unit that helped lead the team to the Super Bowl.
Ed Reed/S/Ravens (5’11, 205): The 34-year old Reed was a first round pick of the Ravens in 2002 and has played his entire career in Baltimore. The former University of Miami star is a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time All Pro, plus the 2004 AFC Defensive Player of the Year. In his 11 seasons, he has 61 interceptions, seven of which have been returned for scores. Despite his age, he started all 16 games each of the last two years for the Super Bowl champion Ravens.
Charles Woodson/S/Packers (6’1, 202): The 36-year old former Heisman Trophy award winner landed on the free agent market after being released by the Packers in February. Woodson is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a seven-time All Pro, and was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. Over his 15 year NFL career Woodson has recorded 55 interceptions and 29 forced fumbles. Woodson and Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin were both members of the Packers organization for six seasons, from 2006 to 2011.
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