Arizona Cardinals defense is shaping up for 2023 with Hamilton, Collier
By Sion Fawkes
Antonio Hamilton might be a late bloomer, but he has been a productive player for the Arizona Cardinals, and it’s good to see him return.
On Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals brought back a familiar face in Antonio Hamilton, who signed on for another two seasons. This gives Big Red a solid option at cornerback, as Hamilton has proven himself to be a capable starter over the past two seasons.
Hamilton has seen action in 27 games since 2021, starting seven of them. In that span, he’s recorded 82 stops, nine deflected passes, and an interception.
While those statistics aren’t mind-boggling, Hamilton’s advanced statistics from last season also show how effective he’s been. In 2022, he allowed an opposing passer rating of just 82.0, and this came with quarterbacks targeting him more often.
He allowed just 6.3 yards per target, and 9.4 yards per reception. So overall, we’re looking at a solid, serviceable corner who could line up on the outside if Arizona doesn’t address the position further, or he can even slide into nickelback.
L.J. Collier gives the Arizona Cardinals another puzzle piece on defense
General manager Monti Ossenfort wasn’t finished yet, however, as he also snagged defensive lineman L.J. Collier to a one-year-deal. While Collier hasn’t done much over the past two seasons, he was a respectable piece for the Seattle Seahawks defense in 2020, recording 22 tackles, 5 quarterback hits, and 4 tackles for loss.
Collier gives the Cardinals yet another puzzle piece on the defensive line in serious need of depth. And you can expect Collier to serve as a role player in Jonathan Gannon’s system for the upcoming season.
Since the defensive line still has missing pieces as far as starters go, don’t expect Collier’s signing to mean Arizona won’t further address the position. In fact, now that he’s in the desert, it’s highly likely Ossenfort will use an early round pick somewhere along the defensive line, likely at defensive tackle.
Neither Hamilton nor Collier will turn many heads. But they are respectable depth pieces capable of stepping in with the starters when needed.
Source: Cardinals agree to terms with CB Antonio Hamilton, 2 more by Tyler Drake, ArizonaSports.com.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)