|According to his agent, a number of teams already have shown interest in Routt. (US Presswire)|
Though the Raiders obviously had no interest in paying cornerback Stanford Routt the remainder of his five-year, $55.4 million contract -- which is why they released him Thursday, a day before they owed him $5 million -- Routt is becoming quite popular around the league.
As ESPN Dallas reports, the Cowboys, Bills and Titans have shown interest in acquiring Routt -- who was one of the Raiders better defenders but who struggled toward the end of last season.
Routt’s agent said the cornerback will visit Buffalo and Tennessee, while the Vikings and Chiefs also have reached out to gauge the possibilities of working with Routt.
While he had the best statistical year of his career in 2011 -- Routt had career highs with four interceptions and 15 passes defended -- the film-watchers at Pro Football Focus weren’t quite as impressed.
PFF points out that Routt’s 17 penalties led the league among cornerbacks (eight defensive holding, seven pass interference, one illegal use of hands and one personal foul) and writes, “Routt graded reasonably well in coverage, and numbers are OK, but offset a LOT of receiving yardage with penalty yardage. Skews data.”
Routt also allowed nine touchdowns, the most in the NFL.
While Routt won’t be the top free agent cornerback on the market, he could draw some interest at a reduced rate. Not the same kind of interest as, say, Kansas City’s Brandon Carr (who was No. 2 on the top-50 free agents list put together by CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco), Atlanta’s Brent Grimes (No. 8), Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan (No. 14), San Francisco’s Carlos Rogers (No. 14), New Orleans’ Tracy Porter (No. 20) or New York’s Aaron Ross (No. 27).
Actually, come to think of it, the free agent market will be stacked with top-flight cornerbacks, and though Routt almost certainly will draw legitimate interest -- maybe more than he already has -- he can almost certainly forget about making more than $10 million a year. Or as PFF writes, “Not saying Routt can't play, but he was being vastly overpaid. Can be a reasonable pickup for a team on a more sensible contract.”
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