The longtime member of the Cincinnati Bengals becomes the latest veteran cornerback to be added to the Arizona Cardinals roster
The Arizona Cardinals apparently believe that there is strength in numbers. In need of a replacement for injured cornerback Robert Alford, the club went out and signed both Ken Crawley and B.W. Webb last week. This past Sunday, the Cards front office added yet another veteran cover guy to the mix.
Dre Kirkpatrick, a longtime member of the Cincinnati Bengals, has reached an agreement with Arizona on a one-year deal. The 30-year has a much more impressive resume than both Crawley and Webb, and will most likely be named the squad’s number-two corner. In fact, Kirkpatrick may be the best cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson since Antonio Cromartie joined the Cardinals back in 2014.
Ironically, Kirkpatrick may be a better option for the Cards than Alford would’ve been. That’s saying alot, considering the fact that general manager Steve Keim acquired the 6’2,190 pounder this late in the offseason. Kirkpatrick was by far the best cover guy left on this year’s free agent market.
Fortunately, Kirkpatrick should be able to obtain a grasp of the Arizona defensive scheme rather quickly. Vance Joseph coached the former first-round draft pick back in 2014 and 2015, when the Cardinals coordinator was Kirkpatrick’s position coach with Cincinnati.
In two seasons under Joseph’s watch, Kirkpatrick racked up 93 tackles, three interceptions, 23 passes defensed and a touchdown in 32 appearances (17 starts) for the Bengals. “Dre has had some really good years in this league” said Joseph. “He’s excited about being here, and is obviously familiar with our system, but some things have changed.”
The acquisition of Kirkpatrick benefits the Cards secondary in another way as well. The former University of Alabama product’s presence will allow second-year pro Byron Murphy to move back into the slot corner position. The 22-year old took his lumps on the perimeter in 2019, and is much better suited to line up on the inside.
A week ago, Arizona’s defensive backfield appeared to be in dire straits. Losing Alford for a second consecutive campaign was a blow that the team seemed ill-prepared to deal with. Kudos to Keim for bringing in a talented defender like Kirkpatrick to help make things right.