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Franchise tags on Josh Norman, Trumaine Johnson still leaves great cornerback market for Raiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Right at the deadline, the arguably the top two cornerbacks who were set for free agency were slapped with the Franchise Tag -- Josh Norman and Trumaine Johnson. Norman's tag was expected for some time. Johnson's was less expected, but necessary for the Rams to keep them from potentially losing both of their starting corners.

The other starting corner in St Louis (henceforth Los Angeles) was Janoris Jenkins. And with Johnson's tag, Jenkins becomes arguably the top free agent corner out there. He was not at all pleased with what the Rams were offering him in contract talks, and to days ago he made a bit of a spectacle of his displeasure:

It's pretty clear the Rams had the same opinion as myself and others that Johnson was the better corner of the two. But Jenkins is still pretty damn good. Here is what Joe McAtee of Rams blog Turf Show Times had to say about Jenkins:

"Solid man cover skills, but is overly aggressive. Will get you picks based on instinct, but is incredibly vulnerable to double moves. Requires safety help to keep the top on. Definitely meets the mark for athleticism and strength, though he is a bit undersized. Plus tackler in run support for a corner."

Even with Jenkins headed for free agency, one could actually argue that the Raiders focus should be on Chiefs' cornerback, Sean Smith.

Some believe Smith is as good or better than Jenkins. And Smith comes with the added bonus of being taken from a division rival. The Chiefs are in the same boat as the Rams, having to use their franchise tag elsewhere -- Eric Berry in the Chiefs' case. These teams are in the leaky dam dilemma where they plug one hole only to spring another leak.

No question Jenkins and Smith are the top targets out there. Some other very good starter caliber corners out there include Casey Heyward (Packers), Prince Amukamara (Giants), Patrick Robinson (Chargers), Brandon Boykin (Steelers), and Jeremy Lane (Seahawks) just to name a few on a much longer list.

Basically, whatever the Raiders are looking for in a corner, they can probably find one or two of them in this market. And they have no shortage of money to get their choice.

The Free Agent frenzy will begin March 7. That's when the legal tampering period begins. Free Agency opens on March 9.