The Kansas City Chiefs have officially announced the signing of former Raider Stanford Routt. But with Routt’s departure from free agency, a new cornerback looks much more likely to hit the open market. Brandon Carr, a KC Chief with an expiring contract, appears to be the odd man out.
There are probably a few reasons the Chiefs made the choice to go with Routt. He fits their man coverage system better than Carr who is more of a zone-coverage back. Carr is also likely to command more money than Routt because he is only 25 to Routt’s 28.
There are a number of quality defensive backs set to hit free agency including: Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Carlos Rogers, Tracy Porter and Aaron Ross. Carr is probably the best cornerback on that list as well as being the second youngest option by only a few months to Tracy Porter. With the Vikings in desperate need of quality corners, it would be no surprise to see them pursue Carr, who fits in well with the Vikings’ zone-heavy schemes.
However, there will be strong competition for Carr’s services. Teams can always use improved defensive back play, especially new in this pass-happy NFL. One team that may have a strong interest and maybe even an advantage in the Carr sweepstakes is the Detroit Lions. They, like the Vikings, need cornerback help, and Carr grew up in Flint, Mich. Adding to the Lion’s advantage is the presence of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who was Carr’s defensive coordinator in his rookie season of 2008.
The Routt signing will likely also change the free agent wide receiver market. Before it was unclear which free-agent-to-be, WR Dwayne Bowe or Carr, the Chiefs would franchise in order to keep for at least another year. At this point, it is clear Carr is not a candidate for the franchise tag, which means Bowe is the likely recipient. One less free agent diva for us to obsess over.