Carlton Davis can fill a sizable hole in Cardinals secondary

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Carlton Davis
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Carlton Davis /

Free-agent Carlton Davis could be the number-one cornerback that the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit so desperately needs.

Year after year, the front office of the Arizona Cardinals must meet the challenge of assembling a viable group of cornerbacks. Things are no different this offseason, as general manager Steve Keim and company prepare for the free agency signing period that is now just hours away.

The task of finding a talented cover guy will be especially difficult this spring, due to the fact that the Cards are a little low on cash. A lack of salary-cap room will likely mean that signing top free agent corners like J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore will be nothing more than a pipedream for the Redbirds.

While many Cardinals fans could look at that as a reason to panic, all hope is not lost. There just happens to be an outstanding option at the position who the franchise may actually be able to afford. That particular cornerback, while far from a household name, could still have the positive impact at the spot that Arizona so desperately needs.

Carlton Davis would be a fabulous addition to the Arizona Cardinals secondary

Carlton Davis has been a solid contributor for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since he was drafted by the club four years ago. The 25-year-old’s contract is now set to expire, meaning any NFL team can bid for his services. Davis will not come cheap, but the free agent’s asking price could be a tad bit lower than what Jackson and Gilmore will command on the open market.

Davis played his college ball at Auburn University and was a second-round draft pick of the Bucs back in 2018. The 63rd-overall selection excelled for the Tigers and earned First-team All-SEC honors as a junior back in 2017.

Last fall, Davis tallied 39 tackles, an interception, and 11 pass breakups in 10 starts for Tampa Bay. The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder missed time after suffering a quadriceps injury against the New England Patriots during a Week 4 matchup.

The year before, in 2020, Davis enjoyed the best campaign of his professional career. In 14 starts, the Miami native was credited with 68 tackles, four picks, and a whopping 18 pass breakups for the Buccaneers. In 2019, Davis registered 60 tackles, an interception, and 19 pass breakups during another superb season.

At the moment, Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson are the top two cornerbacks on the Cards depth chart. While both are solid performers, neither defender seems capable of taking on the responsibility that comes with being a number-one cover guy.

On the other hand, a stud like Davis could certainly assume that role for the Cardinals defensive unit. Keim makes that acquisition, and, suddenly, the team’s cornerback room falls neatly into place. Finances will play a part, but a talented individual like Davis should definitely be on Arizona’s free-agent wish list.

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