Leon Hall has been cleared for football drills and presumably should be ready for the start of the 2014 season. When healthy, Hall is a pretty solid #1 corner and he proved after his first torn achilles, don't bet against his ability to come back from a devastating injury. However, whether he comes back healthy or not, the Bengals need to address the cornerback position early in the 2014 draft. Despite having 4 first round corners on their roster already, the Bengals do not have a single corner on the roster without BIG question marks heading into the season. The Bengals corners are old, injured, unproven or all of the above. Here is how the corners look going into 2014:
Concerns: Injuries, age
If anyone can come back from a 2nd achilles tear, Hall can. However, the question remains, how effective can Hall be? Corner is the toughest position to come back from with an achilles tear - even tougher when you are pushing 30. Hall will be 30 before the end of the season and with 8 years of experience and 2 torn achilles, it is not exactly a young 30.
Newman is in the last year of his contract and though he played well in 2013, Newman will be 36 before the 2014 season begins and wondering how much longer he can be effective is a legitimate concern. Either way, I can't see Newman being in Stripes come 2015.
Concerns: Age, Injuries, size
Like Newman, Jones had a very solid 2013. Also like Newman, he is getting long in the tooth and has just two years remaining on his contract. Jones will turn 31 before the 2014 season is a month old and with his size (5'10" 180 lbs), he has always had troubles staying healthy.
Concerns: Unproven, injuries
I still think Kirkpatrick will turn out to be a solid corner and he ended 2013 playing fairly well. Despite only starting a handful of games, Kirkpatrick (3) tied for the team lead in interceptions. The big think with Kirkpatrick is staying healthy. He essentially missed his entire rookie season with injuries and missed some time last year as well. With the age an injury concerns the Bengals have with the other corners, they need Kirkpatrick to step up in year 3.