All throughout the 2023 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals handed out a bunch of playing time to first-year cornerbacks. In what was essentially a throwaway season, head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis wanted to see if the youngsters could perform at the NFL level.
That's all well and good, but it's time for the Cards to get more experienced at corner. Shoring up the position is practically a necessity if Gannon and company expect to contend for a playoff spot next fall. And if reports are correct, general manager Monti Ossenfort could have a shot at acquiring one of pro football's best cover guys.
This past Tuesday, Green Bay Packers standout Jaire Alexander seemed to indicate that his time with the club could be coming to an end. In what could best be described as a "cryptic" Instagram post, the 2018 first-round draft pick seemed to be saying goodbye to the "Cheeseheads"
"Thank you God. Thank you Lambeau, for 6 years. Thank you to those who showed love throughout my journey."
Does that sound like someone who plans to be back with the Packers in 2024? Actually, a breakup between Alexander and Green Bay would seem a bit untimely. Just 20 months ago, the two parties agreed on a four-year, $84 million extension that was designed to keep Alexander in town through the 2026 campaign.
Jaire Alexander could make a fresh start with the Arizona Cardinals franchise
Things seem to have soured, however, possibly due to an incident back in December that got Alexander suspended. The North Carolina native ran out for the coin toss prior to the start of a clash with the Carolina Panthers, essentially making himself a captain without permission. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was not pleased, and Alexander was held out of the squad's New Year's Eve matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
LaFleur let it be known after the fact that the transgression that Alexander committed in his hometown of Charlotte wasn't the only reason for the suspension. That seems to indicate that the organization may be tiring of the two-time Pro Bowler. There's also this quote from ESPN's Adam Schefter back on December 30th that highlighted the money aspect of Alexander's potentially volatile situation with the Pack.
"But his $8 million bonus (due on March 20th) now is expected to become the trigger point that likely will lead the Packers into a decision on whether they want to keep Alexander or move on from him. Should they keep him, the Packers simply would pick up the option bonus, but Green Bay also could explore a trade."
And that's where the Cardinals come in. The Packers, if they did decide to make Alexander available, would obviously want something valuable for the former University of Louisville product. Exactly how much Ossenfort would be willing to give up for the incredibly talented Alexander is anybody's guess.
The Redbirds' second-round selection (35th-overall) during this coming April's NFL Draft could possibly get it done. That's a small price to pay for a difference-making cornerback who happens to be in the prime of his career. The thought of a phenomenal player like Alexander in a Cards uniform should have Ossenfort racing to make a call regarding the veteran's availability.