The Kansas City Chiefs made a fairly surprising move on Monday by waiving veteran cornerback Stanford Routt. The Chiefs signed Routt to a three-year, $20 million deal during the offseason after he spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders and was one of the more underrated cornerbacks in the league during most of that time. But with a 1-7 record Kansas City is looking for answers, and possible scapegoats, and Routt may not be the first veteran that has underachieved this season to be on the way out.
Routt is likely to garner plenty of interest on the open market, and if he clears waivers plenty of teams in need of a cornerback should have interest. It’s also possible, even with the money left on his contract, that someone will put in a waiver claim on him.
With Chris Cook (arm) likely out for the rest of the season, the Minnesota Vikings should be looking to add a proven veteran to their secondary if they have any chance to remain in playoff contention in the NFC. With a difficult upcoming schedule that includes five games left within their division, the lack of depth in the Minnesota secondary has to be a big concern. No cornerback that is healthy and currently on the roster can matchup well with wide receivers like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson like Cook at least theoretically could. Routt at least offers some potential to matchup physically with bigger receivers at 6’1″ tall and 195 pounds, and his age (29) would not necessarily detour the Vikings from signing him beyond this year if he performs well over the rest of the season.
Routt was inactive for his last game with Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, so that will be a concern for any interested team. Putting him through a workout would dispel or confirm any concerns about his health, and would obviously have an effect on his chances to be claimed on waivers or signed after he clears waivers.
In any case, the Vikings need to consider adding Routt. It would be a prudent move to wait until he clears waivers if possible, if only to reduce the cost of adding him without having to assume his current contract. Other than that, it would be a fairly low-risk, high-upside move as the Vikings look to turn around their fortunes in the second half of the season.