When the Dallas Cowboys drafted cornerback Morris Claiborne in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, it looked like a sure bet to give the Cowboys security on the corners. According to ESPN on Feb. 28, that sure bet might be trade bait for Dallas after two disappointing seasons.
This was not Claiborne's fault, although his inability to stay healthy is to blame. Over two seasons, he has two interceptions and 14 pass breakups. Those are not numbers that any team expects from a player they expected to be their top cover cornerback. Out of 32 games, he spent 17 of those weeks on the injury report.
In that time, Orlando Scandrick took his place as the starting cornerback while Brandon Carr is the new number one corner. Claiborne is now second string and third on the depth chart, only playing when one of the starters needs rest or when the team plays the nickle.
Morris Claiborne is in the third year of his four year $16.2 million contract. This season he will get paid $4.4 million with $9.6 million of that dead money thanks to his $10.3 million signing bonus. The club also has an option for 2016. There is a chance he won't make it into this season if Dallas can find someone to trade for him.
ESPN reports that a third round draft pick might be all it takes. That means that Dallas could give a team someone who could be an All-Pro cornerback - if he stays healthy - for a draft pick that will give them a backup or lesser starter at best. It isn't what Dallas was hoping for when they made him their top pick in 2012.