Atlanta Falcons: 3 free agent corners that are better options than Isaiah Oliver
The Atlanta Falcons are off to one of their worst starts in years.
Just to add insult to injury, Atlanta Falcons free-agent acquisition Darqueze Dennard has been placed on IR. Add that to the fact that first-round pick A.J. Terrell tested positive for COVID, the Falcons sink deeper in ‘No Man’s Land’ at cornerback.
The Atlanta Falcons secondary was already in shambles. The Falcons defense has allowed 36 points per game which ranks dead last in the league. Most of that has been through the air. The Falcons are also allowing the quarterback to throw for 350.3 yards a game.
Only the Seattle Seahawks have allowed more yards a game through the air.
The Falcons secondary can’t go forward with Isaiah Oliver covering the best receiver on the opposing team. If you’ve watched any of the game you know why. Luckily the Falcons have some type of help on the way. Jordan Miller is slated to join the team after serving his three-game suspension but the Falcons are going to need more than that.
Free agency is the best route for the Atlanta Falcons to take to try and salvage the season and make the best out of their cornerback situation until Terrell, Kendall Sheffield, and Dennard can return – Sheffield is expected to return Monday night against the Packers.
There aren’t a lot of great free agents available for the Atlanta Falcons to sign but anything is better than what they have now. The practice squad route more than likely doesn’t have anything that can solve the issues that the Falcons have in the secondary but maybe these three veterans will.
The last time we saw Morris Claiborne on the field, he was helping the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in 50 years. Claiborne didn’t see the field much but when he did, he gave them exactly what he was supposed to.
He allowed only four receptions for 48 yards in eight-game with the Chiefs. While as a member of the New York Jets in 2018, he broke up 14 passes and collected two interceptions which were a career-high for Claiborne. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, the fact that he is only a season removed from the best year of his career would be something that could entice the Falcons front office.
Claiborne hasn’t had the most decorated career, but when you’ve bee able to stay on the league this long, you’re doing something right. Claiborne is 30 years old, so there are quite a few miles on his body, but his experience could bode well for the Falcons.
Not only could Claiborne come in and help the Falcons on defense, but he could also be a mentor to the younger players in the secondary which is something they desperately need.
Claiborne’s former teammate Trumaine Johnson would also be a good option for the Falcons to pick up. Johnson and Claiborne are both the same age but the on the field numbers are definitely in Johnson’s favor.
It’s safe to say that Johnson had a better year than Claiborne did when they were teammates. Playing alongside Claiborne in 2018 with the Jets, Johnson had four interceptions. The best year of his career was in 2015 as a member of the St Louis Rams. That season, he had seven interceptions to go along with 17 passes defended. While those numbers are good, there is something else about Johnson that could catch the eye of the Falcons.
Johnson is a big-bodied cornerback. In a division where you have to go up against Mike Evans and Micheal Thomas, a big body cornerback will definitely be needed. Johnson is bigger than the majority of the cornerback in the league at 6’2” and 213 pounds.
Even if Johnson is signed and doesn’t end up playing every snap on defense, he can still be used as a physical presence on the defensive end at the cornerback spot.
Tramon Williams is by far the oldest person on this list. At age 37, Williams has definitely been there and done that when it comes to cornerback position in the NFL. Don’t let the age fool you because Williams can still come in and contribute to a team.
Williams spent last season with the Green Bay Packers, his second stint with the team. His second stint wasn’t as good as the first but Williams was still productive. He played the full 16 games and started in seven of those games. He finished the season with two interceptions and defended eight passes. His best season came with the Packers the first time around.
Williams best season was in 2010 when he recorded six interceptions to go along with 20 passes defended. 2010 was his lone Pro Bowl season but a case could be made that he should have had more.
Williams has 34 career interceptions which rank second only behind Richard Sherman for interceptions among active players. Williams has recorded an interception in every season of his career with the exception of one, in 2018 when he played strong safety that year for the Packers.