A lack of top-notch talent at the cornerback position could harm the Arizona Cardinals this coming fall.
One of the most mind-boggling mysteries of the Arizona Cardinals’ offseason has been the club’s laissez-faire approach to upgrading the cornerback position.
Currently, the Cards will be entering the upcoming NFL campaign with an underwhelming group of cover guys. So could general manager Steve Keim really believe that the squad will contend in 2022 with such a pronounced weakness in the Redbirds’ secondary?
Byron Murphy Jr. is, without question, the team’s best corner. Even so, some feel that the fourth-year professional is better suited for a number-two role with the Cardinals.
Situated behind Murphy Jr. on the Arizona depth chart are nothing but question marks. Marco Wilson showed promise as a rookie in 2021, but the 23-year old has not fully developed. Veteran Antonio Hamilton also played well at times last fall, but it’s hard to have faith in a 29-year-old journeyman.
Arizona Cardinals are taking an underwhelming approach to the cornerback position.
Back in March, the Cards signed former Minnesota Vikings corner Jeff Gladney to a two-year contract. Sadly, the 25-year-old was killed this past Memorial Day when his Mercedes SUV crashed into a brick wall.
A couple of weeks later, Keim signed Josh Jackson to help make up for the loss of Gladney. The 26-year-old Jackson is a former second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers.
Arizona’s depth at cornerback takes a huge dip after that. Players such as Breon Borders, Jace Whittaker, Darrell Baker Jr., Nate Brooks, and seventh-round selection Christian Matthew are hardly household names.
If Keim would only look, there’s still help available on the free-agent market. One familiar option is Robert Alford, a 33-year-old who played well for the Cardinals before injuring his pectoral muscle last December.
Other possibilities include Trae Waynes, Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Xavier Rhodes, Kevin King, Chris Harris, and A.J. Bouye. According to OverTheCap.com, the Cards have just over $11.5 million in salary-cap space to acquire a cornerback they desperately need.
Arizona won 11 games in ’21 and would love to expand on that total this fall. Acquiring a talented cover guy would undoubtedly make that a much more reachable goal.