Arizona Cardinals may need to acquire a backup plan for Marco Wilson

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

An apparent lack of confidence in the youngster could force the Arizona Cardinals to acquire some veteran cornerback insurance.

The NFL regular season is just five weeks away, and the Arizona Cardinals still have some major question marks at cornerback. In fact, the situation at the position could be even worse than the franchise’s fans expected.

Anyone who thought that second-year cover guy Marco Wilson would be the starter opposite Byron Murphy Jr. this coming fall should temper their expectations. On Thursday, Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated that the squad might have to go in a different direction.

“We want him to step up and be an every-down starter, but we’ll see. I think the jury’s still out, and the rest of the young guys……someone’s got to step up and help us out.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the 23-year-old Wilson. However, it’s pretty obvious that the Cardinals were expecting a much better performance out of the youngster during the first week of training camp.

Before free agency got underway five months ago, the general consensus was that Redbirds general manager Steve Keim would add to an extremely mediocre cornerbacks room. The organization did sign former first-round pick Jeff Gladney on March 16th, but the ex-Minnesota Vikings starter was tragically killed when he crashed his car in late May.

Needing a replacement for the deceased Gladney, Keim went out and landed former Green Bay Packers corner Josh Jackson on June 16th. The former second-round draft choice is a decent pickup, but the Cards still need to do a whole lot better.

Arizona Cardinals stood idly by while the best free-agent corners found new homes.

Why Keim is waiting so long to address such a blatant hole in the defense is downright perplexing. Last week, Kingsbury practically pleaded for management to bring in some veteran cornerback help.

Keim is actually playing with fire by not doing so pronto. The best of the free-agent cover guys were off of the market months ago, but a few capable candidates do remain.

The most popular name being thrown around by Cardinals enthusiasts is Joe Haden, a 33-year-old who has appeared in three Pro Bowls. Other possibilities include Trae Waynes, Chris Harris Jr., Janoris Jenkins, Xavier Rhodes, Kevin King, and Robert Alford.

Arizona was pleasantly surprised when Wilson, a fourth-round rookie, outplayed veteran Malcolm Butler last summer. The University of Florida product held his own during the early part of the 2021 campaign but proceeded to struggle mightily down the stretch.

Kingsbury is not hiding the fact that he has reservations about Wilson, so it’s time for Keim to spring into action. The Cards must add an experienced cornerback to the roster before it’s too late.

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