Antonio Hamilton gives the Arizona Cardinals insurance at cornerback spot
By Jim Koch
The veteran cover guy is back to provide the Arizona Cardinals secondary with a capable starter for the 2023 campaign.
No one who follows the Arizona Cardinals would argue with the fact that the squad is dangerously thin at the cornerback position. On Tuesday, Cards general manager Monti Ossenfort addressed the potentially dire situation with a free-agent acquisition. .
Antonio Hamilton, a journeyman cover guy who joined the squad in 2021, has been brought back on a one-year deal. With a new coaching staff in place, the 30-year-old's return to the desert was far from a given. Did Hamilton do enough last fall to warrant the Cardinals offering him another contract in 2023?
Ossenfort, along with Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon, must have been impressed by what they saw out of Hamilton on tape. After battling back from a preseason cooking accident, the 6 foot,188 pounder went on to appear in 10 games (five starts) for "Big Red". Hamilton turned in a solid performance, racking up 44 tackles, an interception and five pass breakups for former coordinator Vance Joseph's defensive unit.
Antonio Hamilton could play a vital role for the Arizona Cardinals defense next fall
At the present time, Hamilton and third-year pro Marco Wilson would likely be the Cards' opening-day starters at corner. Nothing is written in stone, however. The possibility exists that Ossenfort could upgrade at the spot sometime before September arrives.
There's been speculation that Arizona could select a cornerback after trading back during the first round of next month's NFL Draft. There are also several intriguing options remaining on the free-agent market. Shaq Griffin, William Jackson, Anthony Brown and Eli Apple are just a few of the corners who Ossenfort could take a run at in the coming weeks.
Hamilkton entered the league back in 2016 as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders. Besides his stints with the Cardinals and the Raiders, the former South Carolina State University product has also spent time with the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs. In 84 professional appearances (nine starts), Hamilton has been credited with 132 tackles, one pick and 14 passes defensed.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)