The Arizona Cardinals front office could be in the market for a top-grade cornerback when the 2024 offseason rolls around.
Following a disastrous 2022 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals needed help in a variety of areas when they entered the current offseason. Monti Ossenfort, the club's first-year general manager, did very little to improve the Cards roster during the free-agent signing period. It would be hard to argue with those who believe that winning isn't a priority for Ossenfort and his cohorts in 2023.
At the present time, the Cards may have one of the weakest cornerback rooms in the NFL. Byron Murphy Jr., the squad's best cover guy, left as a free agent back in March and wasn't adequately replaced. Veteran Antonio Hamilton was retained following a so-so performance last fall, and Syracuse University's Garrett Williams was added during the third round of last April's draft.
Add third-year player Marco Wilson to that pair and you're left with Arizona's top three corners. Opposing quarterbacks will certainly be licking their chops at the thought of facing that unimposing trio. If Williams is slow to return from the torn ACL he suffered last October, the Cardinals pass defense could really be in trouble.
For those who haven't noticed, management is doing it's best to make sure that the Redbirds lose as many games as possible. The Cards would deny that they're "tanking", but everything is about next year and beyond for the time being. The light at the end of the tunnel is that Ossenfort will have an enormous amount of salary-cap space to pursue the impressive contingent of cornerbacks who could be available in 2024.
Arizona Cardinals could look to a solid group of free agents to shore up the cornerback spot next offseason
During his first two professional campaigns (2017-18), Adoree' Jackson totaled 143 tackles, two interceptions and 27 passes defensed for the Tennessee Titans. The 5 foot 11,185 pounder has been unable to duplicate the amount of success he had early on, but is still a capable defender. Jackson is entering his third and final year with the New York Giants, and will be looking to cash in when the upcoming season comes to a close.
One of the NFL's best-kept secrets is Michael Davis, a 28-year-old who has spent the last six seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. In 90 career appearances (61 starts), the 6 foot 2,196 pounder has racked up 287 tackles, seven picks and a whopping 59 pass breakups. Arizona is in dire need of both the size and ability that the underrated Davis brings to the cornerback position.
Kenny Moore, another unheralded cover guy, has been an opportunistic ballhawk since he entered the league with the Indianapolis Colts back in 2017. In the 87 matchups he has dressed for (73 starts), the 27-year-old has been credited with 423 tackles, 14 interceptions, 49 passes defensed and eight sacks. Though he's a bit undersized (5 foot 9,190 pounds), Moore's eye-popping production could make him an attractive target for the Cardinals in '24.
One last cover guy who could interest "Big Red" next offseason is Chidobe Awuzie, a seventh-year veteran from the Cincinnati Bengals. During his 71 pro appearances (64 starts), the 6 foot, 200 pounder has tallied 312 tackles, six picks and 56 pass breakups in stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Bengals. Awuzie suffered a torn ACL last Halloween, but is expected to be ready when Cincy kicks off the '23 campaign in September.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)