Perrish Cox has a rare opportunity on the best defense in the NFL


Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Perrish Cox against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Perrish Cox is the answer.

At least that’s what the Seahawks are going to try to convince themselves after losing two corner backs —  within hours of each other — to suspension.

When Brandon Browner went down with a groin injury in Week 10, Walter Thurmond was expected to swiftly take his place and soften the blow of losing a key member of the Legion of Boom.

Unfortunately, Thurmond tested positive for marijuana on Sunday and was suspended four games. Fewer than 24 hours later, news broke that Browner was facing a year-long suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Two corner backs, two suspensions (although Browner’s is not yet official), two big losses for a Seahawks team that is looking to go to its first Super Bowl since 2005. The corner position that was once ocean-deep in a dominant Seahawks secondary became paper thin within days.

So, naturally, the Seahawks responded.

The signing of Perrish Cox was announced on Tuesday as the temporary plug to fill the missing CB position.

Cox was excited about it…

…and he should be. He has an opportunity to help one of the best teams in the NFL down the stretch.

But is Perrish Cox the corner back that the Seahawks need? Or was he just a desperate grab in preparation for Monday night’s game against the pass-friendly New Orleans Saints?

In his career, Cox has 80 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception, though most of those numbers came from a promising rookie year in 2010.

Cox was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and posted 58 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 15 games, nine of which he started. His versatility was seen on special teams as well, where he returned nine kickoffs for 172 yards.

But then things fell apart.

In the fall of 2010, Cox was arrested on sexual assault charges. A woman told police officers that she was drugged, raped and impregnated by Cox. The woman said she didn’t have much memory of the night of the assault, but DNA tests indicated that Cox was the father of the fetus.

According to Fox Sports:

"Cox, 24, was arrested Dec. 9 and pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct."

He sat out the entire 2011 NFL season but in March 2012, he was found not guilty of the two felony sexual assault charges.

“It’s been a long, tough two years,” Cox said after the trial, via The Denver Post. “I’ve got my life back. I just want to put it all behind me.”

He was signed to a two-year deal by the San Francisco 49ers before the 2012 season, but didn’t make as big an impact as he did in Denver. He played in 16 games, none of which he started, and came up with 20 tackles.

This year, he played in nine games and recorded two tackles before being released and signed by the Seahawks on Tuesday.

So is Perrish Cox the answer?

He should be a decent corner for the Hawks because he will have the opportunity to play a majority of his downs alongside Richard Sherman. If Seattle is lucky, Cox will be motivated to have a season like his rookie one in Denver.

It should be noted that the Seahawks are also in talks with veteran corner Antoine Winfield, in the hopes of bringing him out of retirement to add experience and depth to the corner back position.

Last year Winfield, 36, started all 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings and had 101 tackles and three interceptions.

Whether Winfield comes in or not, Cox will be playing — guaranteed.

He will be sharing time with Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane, but if Cox does his part, he might play a lot of snaps.

Unfortunately, Cox won’t have the opportunity to become eased into the system because the Saints have the second-best passing attack in the NFL. Until Monday night, the Seahawks will just have to wonder: is Perrish Cox the answer?

As of now, he has every opportunity to be.