Revisiting the Cornerback Position:
July 25, 2012 in NFL
Yesterday's news that the Redskins released UDFA CB Chase Minnifield was a bit of a surprise to many in Redskins Nation. Minnifield, despite his undrafted status was considered by many Redskins fans, and pundits as a potential steal for the team. He was a guy who before the extent of his knee injury was revealed was thought to be a top 75 pick. With the Redskins getting him at no risk after the draft, their return on their investment was potentially extremely high. Though he might not have been more than a 5th corner this year as he worked his way back from injury, his future potential gave some hope to the Skins much maligned secondary. Even with recent reports that indicated that he was, likely to begin the year on the phyicaly unable to perform list, did little to mute his long term outlook. Now after being released and it revealed that he's experienced a setback, his long term potential (assuming he clears waivers to go to IR) is very much in question. Even if Minnifield was a bit of a fools gold hope for Redskins fans, his loss opens up the serious question marks surrounding the team's corners.
It's pretty undisputed that DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are locked into the two starting positions (though serious questions remain about whether that is good or not). Beyond those two the corner depth chart gets pretty murky. The top five contenders for the likely three back-up spots are Cedric Griffin, Kevin Barnes, Brandyn Thompson, Morgan Trent and Richard Crawford. Here's the three I'd like to see on the opening day roster:
– Griffin is a veteran, who when healthy in the past has been a good starting caliber CB. His health is a bit of a concern and it looks like he may have lost a step, but he appears to be the best the Redskins have in the depth department. He isn't ideal against speed, but he's playable, and could even be above-average.
-Thompson literally had an up-and-down year as he was sent back and forth between the 53 man roster and the practice squad multiple times last season. He didn't get much of any game experience, but he displayed some promise last year. Hopefully with a full camp and offseason he'll have developed more, and can be a capable 4th corner. With the contracts of Hall, Wilson and Griffin all up within the next two years, a young, cost controlled guy like Thompson could be valuable to the Skins if he shows that he can play.
-Trent a former 6th round pick in 2009 for the Bengals, has gotten some playing time since being drafted (both in Cincy and Jacksonville). While he hasn't shown himself to be a starter or even a top back-up, he hasn't embarrassed himself either. His play while unspectacular, has shown enough flashes to make one think he could be a capable back-up. He's still very young (26) and offers good size. He's still a bit of a long shot, but I'd like to see him get the nod.
As for Barnes and Crawford?: Well I'd look to try to trade Barnes for either a 6th or 7th round pick. It won't be easy, but it's not improbable by any means. As for Crawford I'd ticket him to the practice squad, where hopefully he can develop for a year, and give the Redskins some depth at corner. What do you think? Assuming the Redskins keep three back-ups, who do you see making it? .