It’s unclear as to whether the New Orleans Saints have attempted to offer free agent cornerback Tracy Porter a new contract, but Porter has hit the market and scheduled his first visit of free agency with Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals desperately need to upgrade the corner position — Nate Clements has his best football behind him and Leon Hall will be returning from an Achilles — and Porter is among the best corners still left in free agency.
Drafted by the Saints in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, Porter broke into the starting lineup his rookie year before dislocating his wrist and landing injured reserve after five games.
He has since started 32-games with the Saints at right corner amassing 194 tackles, 32 pass deflections, 7 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles.
His value value to the Saints defense took a nose dive in 2011 as he was replaced in the lineup by second year corner Patrick Robinson, who seemingly outplayed him down the stretch, and relegated Porter to slot and nickel duty.
Robinson finally blossomed late in the season in Gregg Williams defense, and even though Williams is now gone, new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likely still views Robinson as a starter alongside Jabari Greer.
But Porter is not a “bad” corner per say – a better man-cover corner then zone — but he lacks the physicality needed in run support and often misses tackles completely in one-on-one situations.
Cincinnati is likely more inclined to pay Porter as a starter than the Saints, and his visit could spell the end of his time in New Orleans.
The Oakland Raiders are also said to have interest in acquiring Porter.