The extended absence of cornerback Robert Alford could entice the Arizona Cardinals to acquire a reinforcement for the position
This past Thursday was not a very good day for the Arizona Cardinals. The beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Oakland Raiders on national television was bad enough. After the game, the Cards made an announcement about some injury news that only added to the misery.
Robert Alford, one of the club’s biggest offseason acquisitions, will be sidelined for roughly two months. According to Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the cornerback is dealing with a lower leg issue. Alford’s absence, combined with Pro Bowl cover guy Patrick Peterson‘s suspension, has put the squad’s defensive backfield in a terrible bind.
Not surprisingly, the list of available corners on the free agent market is painfully thin. Acquiring talent at that particular position is tough enough as it is. Hoping to find a capable replacement for Alford in the middle of August is almost an impossible task.
One player who’s still seeking employment is someone that the Cardinals are actually familiar with. Quite a few of the team’s fans were surprised when David Amerson was given his walking papers this past June. The 27-year old has accumulated 272 tackles, nine interceptions and 65 pass breakups during his six NFL campaigns, so perhaps a return to the nest could be in his future.
Another possibility is former Green Bay Packer Davon House. The 30-year old, who has also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2011. House has totaled 221 tackles, seven picks and 54 passes defensed in eight pro seasons.
There’s another former Packer cornerback who’s also looking for work. Sam Shields appeared in all of the Los Angeles Rams’ 16 contests (two starts) in 2018, after missing most of the previous two years with concussion concerns. The 31-year old has racked up 265 tackles,19 interceptions and 70 pass deflections since entering the league in 2010.
Shareece Wright is a journeyman who has played for six different professional franchises. The San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans have all employed the 32-year old since 2011. Wright’s career totals include 301 tackles, two picks and 41 pass breakups.
One last name worth mentioning is Brent Grimes. The 36-year old cover guy has spent 12 seasons in the NFL, tallying 575 tackles, 33 interceptions and a whopping 140 passes defensed. Grimes has logged snaps with the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For now, the trio of Brent Murphy, Tramaine Brock and Chris Jones will be expected to pick up the slack for the Cards. It’s possible that the organization will allow those corners, plus others who are already on the roster, to handle the load. Arizona’s secondary will be in fine shape when Peterson and Alford return, but for now the coverage unit appears to be in serious trouble.