NFL Rumors: Veteran Free Agent Cornerback Robert McClain Is Drawing Lots Of Interest
NFL teams get scrutinized heavily for their free agent signings mainly during the spring and summer months but in-season additions can be just as important, which is why veteran free agent cornerback Robert McClain is drawing interest from a lot of teams according to Field Yates of ESPN. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the latest team to work the 27-year old out.
FA CB Robert McClain is staying busy. He's worked out or visited 8 teams since being cut on 9/5. His latest visit was to the Steelers today.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 21, 2015
McClain was released by the New England Patriots prior to the start of the regular season on September 5. The former 2010 seventh round draft pick competed with three others for the backup slot cornerback job during training camp, which Tarell Brown ultimately won. He signed a one-year, $1.24 million pact this past offseason with the Patriots after spending last season with the Atlanta Falcons.McClain is small, standing at 5’9? and weighing 195 pounds, yet very versatile as he played five positions last year — right slot, left slot, right outside, left outside and safety. He has struggled in pass coverage recently, getting burned on a consistent basis last year. McClain was ranked as the No. 99 best corner by Pro Football Focus in 2014.
McClain had 59 tackles, one sack and two interceptions. He was credited with five pass defensed a season ago. McClain’s best season came in 2012 when he recorded 61 tackles, had one interception and 10 passes defensed as well as two fumble recoveries. The star special team performer amassed 201 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions in 63 career games.
In addition to the Steelers, McClain also has worked out for New Orleans and Chicago this week.
So, will McClain ultimately sign with another team this season? With all the teams he has worked out for it is likely he will ultimately get another shot; however, it is unlikely it will be immediately.
Pittsburgh (4-2) could be in need of secondary help after a disastrous showing against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers permitted Cardinal quarterback Carson Palmer to complete 29 of his 45 passes for 421 yards and one touchdown. The biggest culprit was Antwon Blake, whom Palmer targeted 13 times and came away with nine completions for 165 yards, which includes 65 yards after the catch, along with a touchdown according to SB Nation.Blake, who injured his thumb during the game against Arizona, has 30 tackles along with one touchdown and five pass defensed this year. Blake missed Wednesday’s practice and was reportedly seen with a cast on his wrist. To further complicate matters for the Steelers, Cortez Allen is still dealing with a knee injury and Mike Tomlin says he is currently on a day-to-day basis. Allen hasn’t played since recording six tackles on opening night.
Pittsburgh is one of the worst defensive teams against the pass. The Steelers allow 283 yards through the air (No. 26) as opposing quarterbacks are completing 69.2 percent (No. 29) of their passes. The Steelers are also tied-for No. 19 in touchdowns allowed via the air with 10.
McClain was one of four defensive backs to work out with the Bears on Tuesday as the Bears are intent on improving their pass defense according to Fox Sports. Chicago, which ranks No.6 in pass defense, surrendered 405 yards through the air against the Detroit Lions last week as Matthew Stafford completed 27-of-42 pass and tossed four touchdowns.
Rishard Anderson, Pierre Warren and Brandian Ross were the others who took part in the workout.
McClain started this week’s workouts with the Saints on Monday along with safety Akeem Davis, receiver T.J. Graham and offensive linemen David Arkin and Ryan Seymour. The only player to workout with the team to have inked a deal is Seymour, per The Times-Picayune.
McClain has also worked out for the Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans this fall since being released.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]