Brad Penner/USA Today

Which Free Agent Cornerbacks Could the Carolina Panthers Target?

The Carolina Panthers are back on the market for a cornerback with them rescinding their franchise tag offer to Josh Norman. The pickings may be slim but these are three players that could make a great deal of sense for the team.

General manager Dave Gettleman has never been one to spend a great deal of money at the cornerback position for the Carolina Panthers. He has typically tried to find bargains with signings of players like Charles TillmanAntoine Cason and Drayton Florence. He may continue that trend now that Josh Norman is a free agent and unlikely to return to the team.

These are three players that the team could take a closer look in the coming days.

Antonio Cromartie

This is one player that was connected to the organization shortly after he was released by the NY Jets. He was asked on Twitter about the possibility of joining the Panthers.

However, a report by Tiffany Blackmon of the NFL Network quickly shot down the possibility of him playing for the Panthers.

Almost two months have passed and the Panthers are now in a much different situation, which means there interest may have changed in the veteran cornerback. The 31-year old is coming off a horrible season in his second stint with the Jets but had three straight Pro Bowl seasons with the Arizona Cardinals prior to that.

He certainly has the size that the team looks for at cornerback with him standing 6'2" and has been a ball-hawking playmaker with 31 career interceptions.This is one move that makes a great deal of sense for the Panthers, if his price tag isn't too high.

Cortez Allen

The Pittsburgh Steelers released Allen last week and is another player the Panthers could take a closer look at. At 6'1" he also has the size to line up outside against some of the bigger wide receivers in the NFC South and also has shown an ability to force turnovers with six interceptions over a three-year stretch from 2012 to 2014.

At 27 years of age, Allen is the youngest player in this group but has plenty of experience starting 18 games from 2012 to 2014. He missed a majority of last year after suffering a knee injury that forced him onto injured reserve. There is some potential upside with this signing and one the team might be able to make fairly cheap.

Charles Tillman

This is one player that Panthers' fans will be familiar with but probably has the most uncertainty surrounding him. The team signed Tillman to a one-year deal last year and he played fairly well for the team until a knee injury late ended his season early. This has been a trend for the former Chicago Bears' cornerback who has had the past three season cut short by injury (played in only 20 of a possible 48 games).

The fact that the knee injury happened so late in the season could also play a factor in the Panthers' decision about whether or not the veteran can be fully recovered in time for the start of the season. However, he proved last year that he could still play at a high level when on the field and play well in Ron Rivera's defense. This is a move the team may wait to make as the season approaches as potential insurance.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

Follow us on Twitter @PanthersonScout and like our page on Facebook.


Panther Insider Top Stories