He excels in press-man situations but the Chiefs also play plenty of Cover 2, thus he's a natural fit for Lovie Smith's scheme. He's one of the few CB1 options that isn't a "star" name and may command a big cheque.
Contract Value: $3,847,000/year per OTC, 4 year, $39.6m (9.9m APY), per Spotrac
Donte Jackson: Carolina Panthers, 5'10, 180lbs, 26 years old
2021 Stats: 12 games played, 12 starts, 56 targets, 36 catches, completion % (64.3%), 406 yards, 7.3 yards/target, 2 INTs, 9 PBUs, 0 INTs dropped, 3 TDs allowed, 60 tackles, 4 TFLs, missed tackle % (21%)
Summary: An elite athlete, Jackson is lightning fast with his 4.32 40 yard dash time and has the change of direction skills to pounce on throws. He's pretty scheme dependent, excelling in zone and struggling in man, but that plays perfectly to what Lovie wants to do.
Jackson is a solid CB2 who brings volatile value as his aggressive nature leads to ball production but also occasional big catches allowed. At his age, his best ball is still ahead of him and a multi-year deal at the right price makes sense.
Contract Value: $3,088,000/year per OTC
Rasul Douglas: Green Bay Packers, 6'2, 209lbs, 26 years old
2021 Stats: 12 games played, 9 starts, 65 targets, 29 catches, completion % (44.6%), 341 yards, 5.2 yards/target, 5 INTs, 8 PBUs, 1 INT dropped, 2 TDs allowed, 53 tackles, 2 TFLs, missed tackle % (11.7%)
Summary: Douglas thrived in Green Bay, making numerous impactful interceptions late in the season. He's always been a "splash play" corner who adds value by making plays on the ball. The Texans seemingly realized his potential, but cut ties too early and went with veterans Desmond King and Terrance Mitchell, over (unproven) youth.
They have a chance to right their wrongs by pursuing Douglas who proved his prowess in zone coverage. Under Packers DC Joe Woods, Douglas played a lot of 2-high coverages and has already learned Lovie's system which makes for a smooth transition if he returns to Houston.
Contract Value: $11,462,000/year per OTC, 4 year, $36.9m (9.2m APY) per Spotrac
Levi Wallace: Buffalo Bills, 6'0, 179lbs, 26 years old
2021 Stats: 17 games played, 17 starts, 60 targets, 31 catches, completion % (51.7%), 302 yards, 5.0 yards/target, 2 INTs, 9 PBUs, 1 INT dropped, 3 TDs allowed, 58 tackles, 2 TFLs, missed tackle % (10.8%)
Summary: A personal draft crush of mine back in 2018, Wallace went undrafted after contributing to an elite Alabama defense as a former walk-on. He's always been more of a press-man corner in my eyes but played in Leslie Frazier's zone heavy defense in Buffalo. That is a benefit for the Texans, as Frazier and Lovie's schemes come from the same tree.
Wallace is now well-versed in being a Cover 2 corner and was part of an elite Bills defense that ranked 1st in total and pass defense DVOA in 2021. The Texans new DL coach, Jacques Cesaire, has experience around Wallace from his time in Buffalo and hopefully could recruit the well-rounded free agent.
Contract Value: $8,124,000/year per OTC, 3 years. $28.8m (9.6m APY) per Spotrac
Ahkello Witherspoon: Pittsburgh Steelers, 6'2, 195lbs, 26 years old
2021 Stats: 9 games played, 3 starts, 31 targets, completion % (29%), 9 catches, 188 yards, 6.1 yards/target, 3 INTs, 7 PBUs, 1 INT dropped, 1 TD allowed, 17 tackles, 1 TFL, missed tackle % (29%)
Summary: A seemingly forgotten talent due to being ravaged by the injury bug - missed 25 games in his five year career - Witherspoon has played quite well when healthy. He's a long-limbed defender with quick feet, especially at his size and is another zone coverage corner who is better against the opponent's second option, rather than the first.