Stanford Routt Signs with Chiefs, Denver Broncos Need to Target Brandon Carr

Jason Muckley@@jamuckleySenior Analyst IIFebruary 21, 2012

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 29:  Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a third down stop with Jon McGraw #47 against San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 29, 2009 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Today, the Kansas City Chiefs signed the former Oakland Raider Stanford Routt for a reported $19.6 million over three years. This acquisition essentially has cut Brandon Carr from their roster.

Carr is only 25 years old and he is an emerging top cornerback in the league. He will be commanding a salary in the $7-10 million per year range with his unique skill set and proven track record. Carr would be a perfect acquisition for the Denver Broncos, who are looking to reload their secondary and could pick up a very high-quality No. 2 cornerback to go with the aging Champ Bailey.

Many are saying that Bailey will be soon transitioning to a safety position in the next few years and as Carr continues to mature and develop, he will be the heir apparent as the No. 1 cornerback as rookie Chris Harris and other draft additions learn the game.

The Denver Post reported recently that the Broncos will have more than the salary cap to spend this offseason in rebuilding and making some key moves in free agency. Elway was quoted as saying, “Cash-wise we'll spend more than cap this year.”

The Broncos have 17 players who will become free agents on March 13. These players will likely to be the top priority for the front office to sign. They include Eddie Royal, Matt Prater, Brian Dawkins, Joe Mays, Brodrick Bunkley, Marcus Thomas, Wesley Woodyard, Mario Haggan, Spencer Larsen and Jason Hunter.

Many believe that either Prater or Bunkley will be kept by the Broncos through the franchise tag.

To me, that sounds like John Elway and company will make some waves in free agency this offseason. Last offseason, the Broncos had some hits and misses in free agency. There was the marquee signing of Willis McGahee that made Elway look like a genius, as John Fox’s conservative offense rejuvenated the aging veteran’s career. A bust, however, was the signing of highly sought-after Ty Warren, who was injured early in the preseason, tearing his pectoral muscle. Warren will be returning for the second year of his two-year $8 million deal.Last season, Carr had arguably the best season of his career. Below are his stats from 2011 as well as from his entire career:

Year Games Played Tackles Total Solo Tackles Assists Forced Fumbles Fumbles Recovered Int PD Stuffs
2011 16 45 39 6 0 0 4 15 0
Career 64 237 211 26 1 4 8 65 5

Data provided by Elias Sports Bureau.

Brandon Carr fits more with John Fox’s zone-style of defensive play as a cover corner, instead of Routt, who is a pressure-style corner, playing tight man at the line of scrimmage. Signing Carr to a deal would go a long way for the Broncos to shore up the gaping holes in the defensive secondary. It would also take off some of the pressure of needing to draft a cornerback high this season—a position that is never a lock with so much raw talent available.