Packers free agency analysis: CBs

Cornerback may be the most difficult position to play, aside from quarterback, in the National Football League, and if the Packers are going to improve their team defense from a year ago, they will need to bolster their secondary. The unrestricted free agent market could provide them with some new faces.<p>

The Packers most certainly could lose starting cornerback Tyrone Williams, who voided his contract just before the free agency period began on Feb. 28. He would have been the Packers' second highest salary against the salary cap and will likely get offered more from other teams this off-season than the Packers can spend to keep him.

Nickel back Tod McBride will also test the free agent market in the coming weeks. He and Williams represent two of the Packers' top three cornerbacks from a year ago.

Only starter Mike McKenzie is assured of being back next year, as reserve Bryant Westbrook is also an unrestricted free agent, and third-year defensive back Bhawoh Jue spent most of last season on injured reserve after playing safety for most of his rookie season.

Taking a long, hard look at the group of unrestricted free agent cornerbacks will be on the Packers' agenda in the next two months before the draft. Some notable names on that list include Taje Allen (Chiefs), Ashley Ambrose (Falcons), Dre Bly (Rams), Juran Bolden (Falcons), Terrell Buckley (Patriots), Eric Davis (Lions), Terry Fair (Panthers), Corey Fuller (Browns), Ken Irvin (Saints), Todd Lyght (Lions), Tyrone Poole (Broncos) and Kenny Wright (Texans). Buckley played for the Packers from 1992-94.

The top free agent cornerback, Baltimore's Chris McAlister, was designated as a franchise player. The Ravens would like to sign him to a long-term contract and are negotiating with him.

Other cornerbacks who may be released for financial reasons include Ray Crockett (Chiefs), Al Harris (Eagles), Tory James (Raiders), Jason Sehorn (Giants), and Denard Walker (Broncos).


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