4 Free Agent cornerbacks Tampa Bay can sign ahead of preseason

Even four months into NFL free agency, the Bucs have no shortage of veteran cornerbacks that remain available to sign in free agency.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Patrick Peterson

If Tampa Bay wants to add a true veteran presence to their cornerback room, then look no further than Peterson, who just finished his 13th season in the NFL with Pittsburgh. At 33, Peterson was far from the player he was earlier in his career, and he didn't cover receivers on the outside or in the slot all that great. Still, the 13-year veteran remains ready for a potential opportunity that may come to suit up in 2024.

"I'm just doing stuff here and there. Nothing major, but if the phone call happens to come through, I'll definitely be ready to make a team if that's the case," Peterson told his co-host Bryant McFadden on their podcast All Things Covered. "Nothing has happened just yet, but I am doing what I need to do to be in shape."

Even after his prime years of football, there has still been a consistent market for Peterson in free agency. Before signing with Pittsburgh last season, Peterson played two seasons in Arizona and Minnesota each, starting in 56 total games and posting 225 tackles, 35 pass breakups, and 11 interceptions.

When Peterson was in his prime, he was one of the league's top coverage corners. Starting in 2011, Peterson made eight straight Pro Bowls and three All-Pro Team selections to begin his career in Arizona, totaling 385 tackles 76 pass breakups, 23 interceptions, and 19 fumble recoveries in 128 starts.

If Tampa Bay were to sign Peterson, it largely wouldn't be to replace McCollum in the lineup. Rather, such a move for a declining veteran would be to mentor the likes of Dean, McCollum, Hall, Thomas, and Smith, while also playing sparingly in coverage, which he showed he could do in his lone season as a Steeler.

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