+ Former Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt visited with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, more than a week after he was released from Oakland. Routt, who signed a three-year deal worth $31.5 million with $20 million guaranteed in 2011, was due $10 million in guaranteed money which was reportedly due to kick in this year.
According to Mike Florio with Pro Football Talk, the decision is coming soon. Known teams to have shown interest in Routt includes the Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. However other "teams reportedly were interested."
Cincinnati has roughly $60 million available in cap space and a need to improve their cornerback depth. Though Nate Clements will most likely start in 2012, there's obvious concern that Leon Hall may miss part of the regular season depending on his rehabilitation after suffering an Achilles injury that ended his season last year.
Even if Hall is ready, Routt provides the Bengals a decent number two cornerback opposite of Leon Hall, with Clements filling a roll during three-wide formations and overall improving the team's 17th ranked passing defense.
ESPN's Bill Williamson writes:
Routt is a decent player, but he is probably best suited to be a No. 2 cornerback. He was better playing alongside Asomugha than he was as the team's No. 1 corner. Routt was solid in coverage, but was penalized 17 times and gave up eight touchdowns, tied for the second-highest total in the NFL last season.
Hall would give Routt that opportunity to play second-fiddle.
That doesn't mean that the Bengals shouldn't continue addressing cornerback during the NFL draft. In fact they should address the position with the same urgency they've had since Johnathan Joseph signed with the Houston Texans last year. Who knows how well Hall will bounce back, Routt will turn 29 in July and Clements, who is entering the final year under contract, is obviously on the back-end of his career while Adam Jones and Kelly Jennings are entering March as free agents.