The Cardinals have made the first outside addition to their cornerback room so far in free agency. The team announced on Thursday that they have signed Rashad Fenton to a one-year deal.
The 26-year-old was a member of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl winning team during his rookie season in 2019, though he played a minor role that year. His workload took a notable jump in each of the next two campaigns, though, and he established himself as a key contributor to Kansas City’s secondary. That set him up for a full-time starting role for the first time this past season.
Fenton logged a 92% snap share in 2022 with the Chiefs, continuing the career ascension of the former sixth-round pick. Kansas City ended up trading him to the Falcons at the deadline, however, which led to a change in role. Fenton saw his workload drop considerably in his brief stint in Atlanta, an unwanted development compared to the possibility of remaining with the Chiefs for what ended up being another championship campaign.
In any event, the South Carolina product will now join a third NFL team, and once again have the possibility of playing as a starter. The Cardinals already had a relatively thin CB room entering the offseason, one in which top cover man Byron Murphy signed with the Vikings. That left a notable vacancy in the team’s secondary, one which Fenton will now seek to at least partially fill.
The Cardinals ranked 24th in the league in terms of passing yards allowed last season (230 per game), and registered just 11 interceptions. While Fenton is unlikely to make much of an impact in the latter department, his coverage statistics from earlier in his career suggest he could be an effective addition. He took a notable step back with respect to completion percentage and passer rating allowed in 2022 after serving as a full-time starter, but he has proved to be a quality option with a smaller workload. He will look to carve out a role in his new home, as Arizona seeks to take a step forward defensively in 2023.