Arizona Cardinals can still improve at cornerback with a free-agent addition

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

There are unemployed cover guys who could help the Arizona Cardinals perform a whole lot better on defense in 2023.

The Arizona Cardinals front office has taken a maddening approach to the current offseason. In his first year with the club, general manager Monti Ossenfort has added several second and third-tier free agents to the Arizona roster. It certainly looks like management could care less about the 2023 campaign, although head coach Jonathan Gannon insists that he didn't come to the desert to lose.

If what Gannon has said is true, then the Cards front office should be handing him players who can help him win right away. Everyone would agree that Ossenfort is setting up the organization to be highly-successful in 2024. At the same time, the "Red Sea" would love to see some immediate results out of this year's squad as well.

One way to make that happen would be for Ossenfort to address some of the team's weaknesses. The draft has come and gone, but free agency is still an option. According to, the Cardinals have over $13.7 million in salary-cap space remaining that can be used to bolster what is currently one of the NFL's most unimpressive rosters.

Even Gannon would have to admit that the Redbirds could use an upgrade at cornerback. If the season got underway today, Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton would be the opening-day starters. At the time of this writing, there are several corners still searching for work who'd be more enticing options than a journeyman like Hamilton.

Arizona Cardinals could still look to upgrade what could be one of the worst cornerback groups in the NFL

One cover guy who the Cards should certainly be kicking the tires on is Eli Apple, a seven-year veteran who spent the past two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. In his 31 appearances (30 starts) since 2021, the 6 foot 1, 200 pounder has amassed 98 tackles, two interceptions and 18 passes defensed for Cincy's defense. Is there anyone who feels that Apple wouldn't be a better alternative for Arizona than the mediocre Hamilton?

The same could be said about William Jackson, a former first-round draft pick of the Bengals who racked up 150 tackles, three picks and 41 pass breakups during his first four years in the league. In 2021, the 6 foot,190 pounder inked a free-agent deal with the Washington Commanders, and went on to tally 55 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defensed in his 16 starts for that franchise. Jackson was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers during an injury-plagued 2022 campaign, but was ultimately released by the "Black and Gold" this past March.

Another intriguing possibility for the Cardinals is Bradley Roby, a former first-round selection of the Denver Broncos. In 13 contests (10 starts) for the New Orleans Saints last fall, the 5 foot 11,194 pounder was credited with 36 tackles and five passes defensed. During a nine-year pro career, Roby has totaled 370 tackles, 11 picks, 85 pass breakups and three defensive touchdowns in stints with the Broncos, Houston Texans and Saints.

One more available corner worth mentioning is Bryce Callahan, a tiny 5 foot 9,188 pounder who plays much bigger than his size. Last season, the 31-year-old tallied 47 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defensed in 15 matchups (11 starts) for the Los Angeles Chargers. In 81 career NFL games (56 starts), Callahan has racked up 241 tackles, nine picks, 35 pass breakups and five sacks while playing for the Chicago Bears, Broncos and Chargers.

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(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)