Arizona Cardinals add veteran cornerback to depleted group

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Darqueze Dennard
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Darqueze Dennard /

The Arizona Cardinals added some more experience to their current group of cornerbacks on Thursday with a free-agent signing.

Former Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.

Dennard spent his first six years in the NFL with the Bengals before playing just one season with the Falcons in 2020. While he was with Cincinnati, Dennard finished with 274 tackles, 22 pass breakups, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and three sacks in 77 games.

He also spent time with current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was the defensive backs coach for the Bengals during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While he was with Atlanta in 2020, Dennard only played eight games due to a hamstring injury, finishing with 36 tackles and one interception.

In Arizona, he will be joining a depleted and young group of corners that consists of Byron Murphy, Marco Wilson, Tay Gowan, Robert Alford, and Malcolm Butler.

Darqueze Dennard adds veteran experience to Arizona Cardinals

Outside of Butler and Alford, who last played an NFL game in 2018, no other Cardinals cornerback has more than three years of pro experience under their belt.

While Dennard has only started in 30 games in his seven-year career, he will still bring a veteran presence that Arizona’s group of cornerbacks needs.

Depending on if the Cardinals decide to sign another corner, Dennard will more than likely split roles with Murphy next season, who may or may not move from the slot to the outside. Murphy’s time in the slot has resulted in a drastic improvement in his performance, especially last season when ended up with 51 tackles and two sacks in seven starts.

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Regardless of who becomes the starting cornerback opposite of Butler in 2021, Arizona needed depth and competition for their group of corners, and Dennard will help with this.