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Free Agent Series: More Likely Mo Claiborne Returns Or Seeks A Fresh Start?

(Editor's Note: With free agency beginning March 9, the staff is forecasting the future for five Cowboys currently set to hit the open market. Part 1 spotlights cornerback Morris Claiborne, who will be an unrestricted free agent. For the full list of Cowboys free agents, visit our free agency tracker.)

CB Morris Claiborne
5-11 / 192
4 NFL Seasons
2015 Impact: 11 games (11 starts); 42 tackles, 9 pass breakups

Nick: There are obviously a lot of question marks surrounding this position, with Orlando Scandrick coming off an ACL injury and Brandon Carr's situation in limbo as usual. Still, you have to evaluate Claiborne separately as possible. And with that, I don't think I would strongly entertain getting him back. Yes, Claiborne is a really, good, solid player when he's healthy and confident. But what day was that?I just think he probably would do better with a new environment and I would think he knows that better than most. If nothing happens with another team and the price is right for a 1-2 year deal, sure. But that probably won't happen. Personally, If I had the choice between keeping Carr and re-signing Claiborne, give me Carr all day. He's not always making the play but he's on the field, always.

Bryan: Claiborne's future will depend on two things: Will another team offer him a better deal to leave and will he be willing to take that deal? I do not see the Cowboys offering him the type of deal that would provide him any long-term security which is why I feel like we could see him go for a change. Claiborne needs a fresh start and he needs to get away from this locker room and attempt to put his injury history behind him. He has done a nice job of trying to work his way back each time he has suffered a setback but he will always be haunted by where he was drafted and his lack of production. For his sake, Claiborne needs to go off and find not only himself but his game, much like Terence Newman has done in Cincinnati and now Minnesota.       

David:Cowboys fans everywhere will probably roll their eyes, but I think Mo could be one of the most important re-signings among the team's current free agents. There's no denying that he didn't live up to his lofty draft status, but he has proven himself to be a capable starter – and that matters for a team that's this thin at corner. Yes, his injury history is troubling, but with any luck that could potentially keep his price tag down. Ideally, I'd want Mo to re-sign for a reasonable fee and use him as the No. 3 corner while the Cowboys address the future of the position in the draft. This would prevent Byron Jones from having to play cornerback, and it also wouldn't press a rookie corner into doing too much, too soon. Unfortunately, the free agent market is unpredictable, and there are a lot of teams with a lot of money to blow. I'm not going to be the least bit surprised when someone else offers Claiborne a surprisingly large contract, giving him a fresh start in a new locale. I could easily be wrong, but I get the feeling Mo has played his last down in Dallas.

Rob: Claiborne has got to be one of the league's most intriguing free-agents-to-be: a former sixth overall pick with a talent and a long injury history that has curbed his development and production. Hard to predict the type of market Claiborne might command, because even though he missed five games and didn't have an interception (no Cowboys corner did until Week 15), he was the most consistent Cowboy at his position when healthy. Stephen Jones told reporters at the Combine that the team wants him back, and that depending on the structure of the deal it makes plenty of sense given their question marks at the position. I think they'd ultimately like to move Byron Jones to safety, but that can only happen if they fortify the cornerback spot through free agency and the draft, and retaining Claiborne would be a step in that direction. As the other guys said, though, the question is whether he might prefer a fresh start elsewhere. For what it's worth, he said multiple times during the season that he wants to return.

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