SF 49ers Free-Agent Target No. 2: Cornerback Ross Cockrell
It might be a yearly occurrence for Niner Noise to suggest veteran cornerback Ross Cockrell a Niners target, at least until he signs a long-term deal somewhere else.
The 29-year-old Cockrell has bounced around the league a lot ever since being selected by the Buffalo Bills in Round 4 of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, he’s had stints with the Steelers, NY Giants, Panthers and, most recently, the Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs didn’t necessarily need Cockrell to start, and he only did so in two games out of 12 played for Tampa Bay last season. So that should make him somewhat expendable after getting his championship ring.
Still, he was impressive enough during that smallish stretch, forcing opponents’ quarterbacks to a passer rating of 89.3 on 238 coverage snaps in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
Cockrell, like Rasul Douglas, could at the very least compete for one of the likely open depth spots on San Francisco’s cornerback depth chart between now and Week 1. And after his one-year, $910,000 base salary from last season, it’s likely the SF 49ers won’t have to spend much at all to entertain his services.
At best, the Niners would have a starting-caliber corner with plenty of experience. At worst, he’d be a cheap camp body.