The Raiders took Routt in the second round of the 2005 draft, and to this date he has started the vast majority of games in silver and black (30 of the last 32).
In 2011, he clocked 49 tackles, four interceptions (a career best) and 15 passes defensed. Furthermore, if you look back at 2010, Routt beat out then teammate Nnamdi Asomugha, allowing opponents to complete a lower percentage of passes at 39.4 percent.
The most worrying stat regarding Routt is that, in 2011, he led the NFL in giving up defensive pass interference flags with seven.
When you consider the Bengals' age-old struggle with penalties, it remains unclear whether Routt would actually be a significant step-up from Nate Clements.
However, with safety, guard, running back and to a lesser extent the wide receiver position all in need of attention this offseason, it's not surprising to see Marvin Lewis and the Bengals do their due diligence with regards to Routt.
The Bengals have the depth of a paddling pool at cornerback with Kelly Jennings and Pacman Jones not good enough to duke it out with bigger receivers and Brandon Ghee nowhere near ready to start.
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com commented on the interest in Routt and questioned whether he is worthy:
Not sure why there is a great deal of interest in free-agent cornerback Stanford Routt. But there is a great deal of interest in free-agent cornerback Stanford Routt. He's good, but not Deion Sanders. The interest is yet another example of how teams are desperate for good corners, even if they're kinda average corners (the Raiders released him for salary-cap purposes). In this new passing NFL, where refs call interference on cornerbacks for having gingivitis, any competent defensive back is going to draw massive interest. Unless he has a limp and 12 toes. Even then ...
It's hard to know whether the acquisition of Routt would stop Lewis going after a corner in the draft with so many talented players likely to be available at the bottom of the first round. However, it does indicate that the Bengals may well be more active in free agency this year than in seasons past.
Routt may not be the solution the Bengals need, but with a number of roster concerns heading into 2012, he could provide ample reinforcement.
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