The Chiefs landed free-agent cornerback Stanford Routt today with a three-year contract that will pay him about $20 million and guarantees him $6 million in 2012.
Routt, 28, who was released recently by the Raiders in a cost-cutting move, will be the starting cornerback opposite Brandon Flowers.
Brandon Carr, the other starting cornerback for the past four seasons, has no contract for 2012 and will become a free agent on March 13.
The Chiefs were unable last year to extend the contracts of Carr and one of their other better young potential free agents, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. The team was looking at effectively keeping one of those players off the free-agent market by making him the franchise player but risked losing the other if they couldn’t re-sign him by the start of free agency on March 13.
In signing Routt, it appears the Chiefs have made their decision to place the franchise tag on Bowe. Routt’s contract is for starter’s money, so Carr is likely headed for free agency.
Routt, 6 feet 1 and 195 pounds, has spent all seven of his NFL seasons with the Raiders. He was a starter for three years, including the past two.
He had a career-high four interceptions last season, including one against Kyle Orton and the Chiefs in a December game at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Stanford has a proven record of success in the NFL,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said in a statement announcing the signing. “He’s a talented player that has spent seven seasons in the AFC West, so he is familiar with us and our division opponents. We are excited to have Stanford join the team, and we are looking forward to getting started.”