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2017 Free Agency Outlook: Cornerbacks


With free agency set to begin in March,'s Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels preview the 2017 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on cornerbacks.

The Redskins will enter the 2017 season relatively set at their cornerback position.

With headliners in Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, and with Jonathan Allen entering his second season in the slot after an up and down rookie campaign, Washington is in a position to add depth to the unit.

Last year that mostly consisted of second-year cornerback Quinton Dunbar, set to return and jockey for a starting role, and veteran cornerback Greg Toler, who will be the only cornerback on last year's roster eligible for free agency in a couple of weeks.

Toler, much like tight end Vernon Davis, enjoyed his homecoming last season, returning to his hometown of Washington, D.C., in his seventh NFL season. After stints with the Cardinals and Colts, Toler provided some needed insurance on the outside, and was active for all 16 games.

He made 18 total tackles and had two passes defensed, career lows since his rookie year in Arizona, but was used mostly in nickel and dime packages with multiple receivers on the field.

The Redskins also have Dashaun Phillips on the roster to compete for a nickel cornerback starting role, which he earned after OTAs last offseason.  

The team has the draft as an opportunity to fill out their depth, and if it chooses not to bring back Toler, there are still some solid veteran options to fill backup roles.

Here is a list of the cornerbacks currently scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. ET March 1, via

Check out images of defensive lineman Vernon Butler during his collegiate career at Louisiana Tech.

Stephon Gilmore](, Buffalo Bills * Corey White, Buffalo Bills * Teddy Williams, Carolina Panthers * Leonard Johnson, Carolina Panthers * Johnthan Banks, Chicago Bears * Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati Bengals * Chykie Brown, Cincinnati Bengals * Brandon Boykin, Cincinnati Bengals * Brandon CarrDallas Cowboys * Josh Thomas, Dallas Cowboys * Morris Claiborne, Dallas Cowboys * Kayvon Webster, Denver Broncos * Asa Jackson, Detroit Lions * Sam Shields, Green Bay Packers * A.J. Bouye, Houston Texans * Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts * Darryl Morris, Indianapolis Colts * Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville Jaguars * Trumaine Johnson, Los Angeles Rams * Chimdi Chekwa, Miami Dolphins * Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Miami Dolphins * Captain Munnerlyn, Minnesota Vikings * Terence Newman, Minnesota Vikings * Logan Ryan, New England Patriots * Kyle Wilson, New Orleans Saints * Sterling Moore, New Orleans Saints * Leon Hall, New York Giants * Coty Sensabaugh, New York Giants * Trevin Wade, New York Giants * D.J. Hayden, Oakland Raiders * Dwayne Gratz, Philadelphia Eagles * Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia Eagles * Leodis McKelvin, Philadelphia Eagles * Robert McClain, Los Angeles Chargers * Alterraun Verner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Josh Robinson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Valentino Blake, Tennessee Titans * Greg Toler, Washington Redskins

Because the Redskins are set with their two starting cornerbacks, they likely won't try to make a splash at another starting caliber cornerback, of which several should command lucrative contracts.

Check out these photos of free agent cornerback, Stephon Gilmore.

That starts with Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who began his ascent to being a top corner in the league with his interception of Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl two years ago. New England is likely to keep Butler, who made 48 tackles and had four interceptions last season.

The other side of the field for New England is more of a question mark, as Logan Ryan is also set to hit free agency. The third-rounder from Rutgers made 74 tackles and had two interceptions along with 11 passes defensed, progressing when he moved into the slot position.

If the Redskins want some more insurance for the slot cornerback position, they could be interested in veteran Captain Munnerlyn, who at age 29, still has the skills to be a solid slot player. He had a slight down year in Minnesota in 2016 but has only missed one game in the last five seasons.

Another veteran from the Vikings, Terence Newman, could provide a similar experienced presence to the group as Toler. At 39, it's unclear how much longer he wants to keep playing, but he would likely not obligate a large price. Newman played in 15 games this year and collected 38 tackles, an interception and eight passes defensed.

The Colts' Darius Butler stepped in to be the top cornerback for Indianpolis last season when Vontae Davis went down with an injury. He has some inconsistencies in his career, and at 31 those could become more pronounced. But, in a limited role, Butler could be another helpful option.

The UCONN product could also provide some versatility as a safety and slot corner helper, hoping to prolong his NFL career.

2017 Free Agency Outlooks:

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