The San Diego Chargers defense is very close to being something special, but the Chargers still need a lot of help in the secondary. Both starting cornerbacks are set to be free agents, and the team’s new management and coaching staff have no loyalty to either of them.
Quentin Jammer, 33, appears finished as a starting cornerback in this league and has likely played his last game in a Chargers uniform. But has the team also given up on former first-round pick Antoine Cason?
Cason, 26, has all the tools to be a shutdown corner in this league, with good speed, hands, and instincts. His long, rangy stature allows him to challenge jump balls, but makes it so he struggles against big, physical receivers.
Cason has been inconsistent throughout his NFL career. His best year came in 2010, his first year as a starter, recording four interceptions and 17 defended passes. In 2012, Cason struggled early but improved down the stretch, possibly due to an improved pass rush.
Everyone says that Antoine Cason could be a good cornerback with a good pass rush. But that wouldn’t mean Cason is a good cornerback; it would just mean the pass rush masked his weaknesses. The team’s pass rush can’t get home if the secondary doesn’t do its job and hold up in coverage.
What could cause Cason to be re-signed is the inexperience and lack of depth behind him. Fellow cornerbacks Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright have a combined seven starts between them. Both are talented and could be an upgrade over Cason if given the opportunity. However, letting Cason and Jammer go and starting two inexperienced players in their spots is risky.
With that being said, the Chargers should consider re-signing Cason if the price is right. If re-signed, the contract shouldn’t be so large that the team would feel obligated to start him just to get their return on investment. Cason shouldn’t be guaranteed a starting spot and should have to compete for one like everyone else.