How About A Heathy Cornerback?March 12th, 2013
Forget the cabbie-slugging, granny-hassling, helmet-wielding, trouble-finding ways of former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib for a moment. One could make a case that the biggest knock on Talib is that the guy is hurt every year. Hamstrings, hips, pulls, and back issues have all cost Talib plenty of games.
Do the Bucs really want another letdown corner who lives on the trainer’s table?
This is why Joe is very leery of the Bucs’ reported interest in Derek Cox, the Jaguars’ talented free agent corner. The guy has been injured repeatedly. And Joe hopes the Bucs find surer bets to be among their cornerback scores after the free agency bell rings this afternoon.
Counting on Cox feels like a foolish risk. Consider this from Jaguars beat writer Gene Frenette.
[Cox] has missed 17 games the last three years with injuries to five different body parts. Whether it’s a hamstring, knee, groin, rib or back, Cox has been one of the most brittle starters in recent memory. On the flip side, the Jaguars have no proven cover corner going into next season if they don’t re-sign Cox. Rashean Mathis, who turns 33 in August, will likely be allowed to become a free agent. Plus, it’s hard to imagine coach Gus Bradley wanting to throw nickel back Mike Harris or Kevin Rutland into a permanent starting role. Aaron Ross, a free-agent pickup last year, has underperformed. At least the Jaguars can count on a healthy Cox to hold up in coverage and occasionally make a big play.
“You got to have that trust with the player,” said [Jags head coach Gus] Bradley. “They can be really good, but if they’re always on the sideline injured, that’s tough. Now [Cox] has some traits that we’re excited about.”
Joe gets Cox’s talent, but Joe would sleep easier with signing a guy like the Dolphins’ Sean Smith, who hasn’t missed a game since 2010, and is still just 25 years old.