Unheralded cornerback could help Arizona Cardinals
Unrestricted free agent Sterling Moore is far from a household name but he may be a good option for the Arizona Cardinals
Just who will be the Arizona Cardinals’ number-two cornerback in 2017 may be the team’s biggest dilemma. Free agent names were thrown around as candidates, and many have signed with other clubs. But there’s one player who remains available who’s name is almost never brought up.
Sterling Moore’s NFL career has not been an easy one. Undrafted out of Southern Methodist University in 2011, the 27-year old has bounced around from team to team. He’s been on six teams in six seasons, to be exact.
His first significant playing time came in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys. He started seven games that year, amassing 46 tackles and 12 passes defensed. Despite ranking as one of the top 25 cornerbacks (according to Pro Football Focus), Dallas failed to re-sign him.
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His next destination was Florida, where he signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The contract had a max value of $1.525 million, quite a bargain after what Moore had accomplished the previous season. In nine starts with his new organization, he racked up 45 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception.
In 2016 Moore moved on again, signing with the Buffalo Bills in April, only to be sent packing during final roster cuts. But in early September he caught on with the New Orleans Saints, signing another one-year contract to replace Cortland Finnegan.
He put up impressive numbers with the Saints, the best of his career. In 12 starts, he tallied 56 tackles, 13 passes defensed and two picks. And once again he’s a free agent.
It’s a real head-scratcher that general manager Steve Keim hasn’t signed a free agent corner this offseason. Moore has never commanded a huge salary, so the Cards could probably bring him to the desert for a reasonable rate. As of this writing, they have a reported $19 million in salary cap space remaining.
Keim would be smart not to wait until April’s draft to try to resolve this situation. Last year’s third-round pick, Brandon Williams, was proof that rookies are anything but a given. Moore may not be a Pro Bowler, but he’s a low-risk option who Arizona should consider.