Arizona Cardinals should fix pass-coverage issues in 2020
By Jim Koch
Acquiring a free agent cover guy who can provide shutdown pass coverage should be a priority of the Arizona Cardinals in 2020
When the 2019 campaign reaches it’s conclusion, the Arizona Cardinals will have quite a decision to make. What to do with eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson will be just one of the club’s offseason issues. No matter how the Cards decide to proceed with their struggling star, acquiring some free agent help for the cornerback position should certainly be on their agenda.
Logan Ryan is one player who’s contract will be running out at the end of the year. The Tennessee Titan is having a tremendous season, and would be a welcome addition to the Cardinals secondary. Ryan’s eye-popping numbers in ’19 include 74 tackles, three interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Another cover guy who’s heading towards free agency is Marcus Peters. The Los Angeles Rams traded the two-time Pro Bowler to the Baltimore Ravens back in October. In nine total appearances this year (eight starts), Peters has accumulated 29 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass breakups and an amazing three pick-sixes.
Chris Harris Jr. of the Denver Broncos will also be a coveted free agent next spring. The four-time Pro Bowler is not having his best season, but his impressive resume speaks for itself. In 132 career appearances (114 starts), Harris Jr. has registered 497 tackles, 20 picks, 84 passes defensed and four touchdowns.
Bradley Roby, like Harris Jr., is also not having a great campaign. However, the former Bronco can flat out play, as evidenced by the 262 tackles, seven interceptions, 64 pass breakups and three defensive scores he has tallied since 2014. Roby signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans this past offseason, but will likely be shopping himself once again in 2020.
Trae Waynes of the Minnesota Vikings is currently in the fifth and final year of his rookie deal. The 11th-overall selection of the 2015 draft has recorded 34 tackles, seven passes defensed and a pick in nine starts this season. In 69 professional contests (48 starts), Waynes has totaled 212 tackles, seven interceptions and 41 pass breakups for the Vikings.
One more potential free agent corner worth mentioning is Ross Cockrell. The Carolina Panther has racked up 36 tackles, two picks and six passes defensed this season. In 63 pro contests (38 starts), Cockrell has registered 191 tackles, seven interceptions and 42 pass breakups.
Anyone who has watched the Arizona secondary during their first 10 matchups can see that there’s a problem. The group will be in even worse shape if Peterson continues the downward slope that he’s currently on. The Cards will have plenty of money to spend in ’20, and you can bet that a free agent cornerback or two will be on the team’s wish list.