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Add Captain Munnerlyn to an already good looking list of upcoming free agent nickel cornerbacks

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NFL: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency doesn’t start until March 13. That’s right around the corner, but in the meantime, there are cornerbacks already hitting the market via cuts. The latest is the Panthers’ releasing cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.

Having missed just two games the past seven years, the 5-9, 195-pound corner has been productive and dependable. He had an interception, nine passes defended, 2.0 sacks, and 47 combined tackles last season in Carolina, his second since the Panther brought him back on a 4-year, $21 million deal after three seasons in Minnesota.

The 30-year-old Munnerlyn adds some proven nickel cornerback talent to a free agent class which has several who would fit that description including Bryce Callahan and Bradley Roby among others. And more talent on the market is always a good thing.

Any team looking to bulk up the nickel corner spot — such as the Raiders — can get a jump on free agency because cut players are available right away. Their teams are doing them a favor by cutting them now, before the market heats up.

This is what the Falcons did when they released Robert Alford earlier this month and he quickly signed on with the Cardinals on a three-year deal. He too is 30 years of age.

There may be a few other cuts before free agency starts as well, with several potential cap casualties at the position.