Found March 08, 2013 on XLJournal:
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The list of free agent and recently released defensive backs has gotten quite extensive in the last few weeks leading up to free agency. By March 12th teams looking for help in the secondary will have plenty of choices within this year’s free agent class. Today Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble was released after playing all 9 of his seasons with the team. Coming off a torn labrum injury, Gamble was set to make up to $10.9 million with a guaranteed $7.9 million salary for 2013. With his release the Panthers were able to get themselves under the salary cap with this move. Gamble joins a list that includes veteran names such as Brent Grimes, Dashon Goldson, Grover Quin, Kenny Phillips, Charles Woodson, Chris Houston, and Sean Smith. Also joining the list today are Jacksonville cornerback Aaron Ross and long time Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson. Wilson’s 12 year career–all with the Cardinals–include 5 Pro Bowls, 14 forced fumbles (8 recoveries), 27 interceptions, and 25.5 sacks. Teams like the Dolphins, 49ers, and Lions could all use ample help in the secondary and should have plenty of available options when free agency begins, and that time is rapidly approaching. Teams can start negotiating with players tomorrow, but no official signings can be made until the 12th. A list with this many quality veterans on it speaks to the value teams place on young players coming out the draft. Veterans can be pricey, but draftees now have a rookie cap which keeps their costs down for a few years after they enter the league. Still, expect to see a good number of these free agents to be signed fairly quickly. Charles Woodson has produced steady production for years. Dashon Goldson was a really nice players for San Francisco before being released , and Sean Smith has yet to live up to his ultimate potential, but he has shown flashes that lead me to believe his ceiling is still incredibly high at this point. This year’s free agency period is set to be a fast and furious one with lots of productive players on the market. A lot of moves are going to happen fairly quickly so be sure to check back to keep updated. Follow me on Twitter: @BrigantiJoeXLJ
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