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The price of cornerbacks

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As I type this, the Rams are in the midst of negotiations for CB Ron Bartell (as are the Saints). The hold up on the deal is the size of the deal Bartell wants, something along the lines of what Domonique Foxworth got from the Ravens, something in the neighborhood of $7 million per year. The cost of cornerbacks is, once again, getting expensive. Is it too expensive?

From Pat Kirwan at NFL.com:

The guaranteed money that free-agent cornerbacks have received so far seems out of whack: Nnamdi Asomugha ($28.5 million from the Oakland Raiders), Kelvin Hayden ($22.5 million from the Indianapolis Colts), DeAngelo Hall ($22.5 million from the Washington Redskins) and Domonique Foxworth ($16.5 million from the Baltimore Ravens). Not too long ago, Foxworth and Hall were shown the door by teams. I can only wonder what McFadden -- and even Greer and Bodden -- expect to get in the coming days.

To me, it seems like every year the cost of CBs goes up and up and up. Last year, the Eagles signed Asante Samuel to a six-year, $57 million deal with $20 million in guaranteed money, and the contract will pay him more than $34 million in his first three seasons. The Seahawks re-signed CB Marcus Trufant last year to six-year, $50.2 million contract with $28 million guaranteed. The year before that, the 49ers signed Nate Clements to an eight-year, $80 million deal with $22 million in guarantees.

Signed at similar points in the their careers, Samuel, Trufant and Clements came with better numbers than this year's group of big fish corners. You can see the escalation in the price of cornerbacks.

Is it too much? Does the league over-value cornerbacks? Is there a better way to get reliable, effective cornerbacks without getting into an arms race like this?