What About Sheldon Brown?

February 15th, 2013

The Bucs need cornerbacks worse than Joe needs beers (plural) on a steamy Florida July Friday afternoon. There is no way to sugarcoat it or to be polite about it: Last year the Bucs cornerbacks — even with the Adderall twins in the lineup — were out-and-out disgraceful for an ACC team much less an NFL team.

It was simply revolting to watch that drek try to defend receivers with quarterbacks of the likes of Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Matty Ice, much less a third round pick of a rookie, Nick Foles throwing the ball.

So Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik will upgrade the cornerback stable this offseason — he just has to. Even he knows it.

Now the numbers crunchers over at ProFootballFocus.com also believe cornerback is the Bucs’ biggest need. As Dick Vitale would say, “Stevie Wonder could see that.” But the stat guys throw out an interesting name the Bucs should have an eye out for to help fix this crater in the Bucs’ roster, and that would be Cleveland cornerback Sheldon Brown.

If Biggers isn’t back next year, Tampa will need to find a corner who can shoulder the load of a full season’s worth of snaps as a starter. Enter Sheldon Brown (+8.0). A veteran corner on an underachieving Cleveland team, Brown held up well last year, allowing more than five catches just three times and conceding over 60 yards just twice. The Browns seem unlikely to resign him, and while he won’t be the most sought after corner on the market, he should be a nice stopgap if the Bucs plan to draft a corner in the coming years.

The knocks against Brown are few, but they are relevant. First and foremost, he will be 34 when the 2013 season starts, and aging corners who lose their speed and agility usually find the bench in a hurry. Also, the nine penalties Brown racked up last year are more than you’d like to see out of any player.

He won’t be out of his comfort zone though. Johnson played roughly three-quarters of his snaps at left cornerback and will likely stay there. Cleveland lined up Brown at right corner on basically the same proportion of his snaps, so the two should have little trouble manning the edges of the field.

On face value, this isn’t an awful suggestion until you get to Brown’s age. Signing a cornerback in his mid-30s is walking on razor-thin ice. For example, Brown is just three years younger than Ronde Barber, who was moved to safety last year to buy him another season or two.

Joe is pretty sure Dominik is going to draft two corners. If the Bucs were to sign Brown, Joe hopes it would be for no more than two years (with possibly an option for a third), as this would give one of the rookies Dominik drafts time to hone his craft in order to be ready to start when Brown departs.

18 Responses to “What About Sheldon Brown?”

  1. Justin P's Dwindling Radio "career" Says:

    The Rock Star needs to DOUCHE the entire team from it’s CB’s…..they are a disaster. Start over with 2 mid-level vets and draft 2 (maybe keep Leonard Johnson & Anthony Gaitor b/c they cost nothing)

  2. Andrew 2 Says:


    sheldon brown and leonard johnson as our starting corners, is that a joke? thats disgusting

    leonard johnson should be battling with the 3rd guy we bring in(fa or draft) for the nickel spot

    sheldon brown is not the answer to anything he’s 34

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think he is too old! This draft is very deep in corners, look for a lot of rookie starters.

  4. Dave Says:

    There are a bunch of 20 something CBs who are pretty good out there in FA. They will grab one, then draft one early then one late.

  5. micronole Says:

    Sign Brent Grimes.

  6. Justin P's Dwindling Radio "career" Says:

    @micronole….aren’t you worried about his foot…otherwise, SIGN HIM UP….i’ve heard other WR’s say on NFL Radio that Grimes is the best CB they’ve faced

  7. micronole Says:

    Grimes will have to pass a physical. If he’s healthy, sign him up. Grimes is fairly underrated in the league. He also seems to own Freeman, so it would be nice to get him off of ATL.

  8. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I would rather we spend our cap space on retaining our free agents and adding the few missing pieces to our offense. We finally have an opportunity to have some continuity here. Do not under estimate how important it is to have stability and comraderie amongst your teammates.
    Last years draft proves that Mr. Dominik knows how to maneuver to get the players we need. This draft is deep enough in DBs to where he can grab 2 or 3 really good ones. On the flip side of that if we were to bring in ONE of these already proven YOUNG corners I wouldnt mind at all. But I think we should continue to build our Defense through the draft. Our Offense is already on the edge of a major break through, lets fill in those missing pieces.

  9. TrueBlue Says:

    Sign a FA cornerback and and a FA right tackle. Trade down to the mid 20’s in the first for an additional third and draft the best cornerbacks available with the first and the new third. That still leaves a second, third and 2 forths to work with to take a TE, a linebacker and maybe a DT. A free safety is also worth considering in the forth or fifth. Give me a call Dom, I’ll help you out. Lol.

  10. T in Orlando Says:

    @ TrueBlue,

    Regarding your trade, who’s looking to come up to 13, and what player are they targeting? I’m all for trading to acquire more picks, but it’s not as easy as some people make it out to be, and a team certainly cannot say, “our plan is to trade picks”.

  11. ladyz Says:

    Forget this suggestion, let Dom do his thing in the draft.

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    I’ve been saying for a while now Brent Grimes is the man.
    He would be the answer here for a long time. He is an elite corner in his prime. If we could steal him from ATL it would be a major major move for Dom.

  13. PRBucFan Says:

    Oh and Charles Woodson just got released by the Pack

  14. FlBoy84 Says:

    Grabbing one or two corners in FA from the mix of Grimes, Cox, Smith, Jammer, Gamble, Brown, DRC, Shields, etc and drafting 1/2 CB’s would go a long way in shoring up the DB group. Another safety added to the mix of Barron, Black and Tandy would probably be wise as well.

  15. dp4life22 Says:

    Joe you related to biggers !! biggers is number one target for every team, even when johnson and other unknown corners were in , biggers was still being torched.. Get rid of that guy, just cause you have dreads does not make you a good player, unless its NCAA 13 VIDEO GAME

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    The question is: “What can Brown do for you?”

  17. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Nope …nothing against Sheldon Brown but he’s to far down the big board. He’s nothing more than a stop gap if we fail to sign one of the top 5 corners. And I still think he’s to far down the list, even if we sign 2 out of the top 8.

  18. Pete 422 Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs are looking at Players with particular physical attributes & skills to fit into their system (not necessarily the top corners). Even finding a WR & converting him to CB.