Suddenly, a cornerback cupboard that was once filled with glistening gold has nearly been stripped of its riches, with Keenan Lewis the latest to sign.
The now former Steelers CB has reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with the Saints that will pay him $26 million, $10.5 million of which is guaranteed, according to Grant Paulsen. Pursuing secondary help was a primary need for a Saints defense that was repeatedly and thoroughly gashed this past season, giving up an average of 292.6 yards per game through the air (31st), and 8.1 yards per attempt, which tied the Giants for a league worst.
But often the most damaging statistic led to significant chunk yardage, with the Saints leading the league in receptions of 40 yards or more allowed (14). Lewis — who also has great field vision while defending the run and maintaining his edge discipline, and he led all corners in passes defensed (16)– allowed only 11.8 yards per catch when targeted by opposing quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s much better than Patrick Robinson, the corner Lewis will likely replace who allowed 17.6 yards per catch.
With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Sean Smith, and Chris Houston all gone, Brent Grimes and Aqib Talib are the leading cornerbacks still available.