5 free agent cornerbacks the Detroit Lions could sign to replace Cameron Sutton

After releasing Cameron Sutton, the Lions have some solid free agent cornerback options to consider.

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2. Ahkello Witherspoon

After missing substantial time in both 2021 and 2022 for the Pittsburgh Steelers (13 total games played), Witherspoon played all 17 games and played over 1,000 snaps for the Los Angeles Rams last season. He had three interceptions, 14 pass breakups, 52 total tackles and a 48.1 percent completion rate allowed. That latter number was the best among cornerbacks who were targeted at least 100 times, as he was targeted the fourth-most times (106).

Witherspoon is a bigger corner (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) who can hold up against bigger receivers. As such he has predominantly been an outside corner throughout his career, but has the ball production and willingness to tackle Holmes and Townsend have openly professed as a prerequisite they want in cornerbacks.

1. Stephon Gilmore

Gilmore lingers available as the second week of free agency comes to an end. Earlier this week, Karen Guregan of Mass Live reported he was open to a reunion with the New England Patriots, where he played from 2017-2020 and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.

But if Gilmore wants a chance to win a second Super Bowl ring sooner rather than later, entering his age-34 season, New England is not the place to do it. His best days are behind him, but he's still pretty darn good (55.8 completion rate allowed, two interceptions, 13 pass breakups, 72.3 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus with the Cowboys last year).

Apart from the skill set and the veteran leader he could be for them, and the winning situation they are, the Lions can also give Gilmore a chance to play with his younger brother Steven. That part is easy to lean into, and frankly it's easy to overrate. But as Gilmore's career winds down, the idea of playing with his brother might appeal to him a lot.

Gilmore's asking price may be what's keeping him available, and that's worth noting overall. But he can surely be brought in on a one or two-year deal, and he's increasingly not in a position to ask for a lot of money.

Honorable mentions: Tre'Davious White, Rock Ya-Sin, Eli Apple, Xavien Howard


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