Plenty of cornerback options remain for the Arizona Cardinals
A talented group of veteran free-agent cornerbacks remain unemployed if the Arizona Cardinals conclude that they could use the help
Somewhere in the near future, the front office of the Arizona Cardinals is going to admit something about their current roster that many others seem to know.
While Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and company have strengthened quite a few areas of the squad this offseason, the cornerback position remains a question mark.
A few free-agent cover guys who could help alleviate the problem are still looking for work. But the day is coming when Arizona will basically be stuck with what they have.
What exactly do the Arizona Cardinals currently have at cornerback?
The Cardinals No. 1 corner is now Malcolm Butler, a 31-year-old who collected two Super Bowl rings during his time with the New England Patriots. The 5-foot-11,190-pounder has been a solid competitor throughout his NFL career, but Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has to hope that Butler can still perform at a high level.
Third-year player Byron Murphy has shown promise during his first two seasons with the Cardinals. The 23-year-old appears to be more comfortable applying his coverage skills in the slot, but a lack of overall talent at the cornerback spot may force Joseph to use Murphy on the outside.
Former Atlanta Falcons starter Robert Alford signed with Arizona back in February of 2019, but he has yet to compete in a regular-season matchup for the club after missing all of 2020 with a torn pectoral muscle. A couple of debilitating injuries have kept the 32-year-old on the sideline for both of the last two campaigns (yikes).
Are there any Cardinals fans who can honestly say that they have faith in Marco Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick who recorded zero interceptions and four pass breakups in eight games for the Florida Gators last fall? How about Tay Gowan, a sixth-round selection out of UCF who has not competed in a meaningful football contest since 2019?
If Arizona acts quickly, there are still some veteran cornerbacks they could sign before the start of this year’s training camp.
Included on the list of available free-agent corners are guys like Richard Sherman, Steven Nelson, Bashaud Breeland, Brian Poole, Darqueze Dennard, and Dre Kirkpatrick.
Any one of those job-seekers could act as insurance for a Cardinals cornerback group that is currently in dire need of a reinforcement or two. The next move is for Keim to admit that there’s an issue and bring one to the desert.
Before it’s too late.