The Cardinals’ moves come as a reaction to yesterday’s injury news. Baccellia’s roster spot was opened up in the short-term by the injury to Rondale Moore, but he won’t simply be a stop-gap. Arizona signed the 25-year-old to a two-year deal to remain on the main roster, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network (Twitter link). A UDFA out of Washington, Baccellia has yet to make a regular season NFL appearance.
Likewise, the fact that Ford will miss at least the first four weeks of the season makes the re-acquisition of Garcia a logical one. The former fourth-rounder has plenty of guard experience, including his three seasons spent in Arizona. It was only in 2021 that he logged any starts, but he could provide veteran depth behind Justin Pughat least until Ford is able to return.
Addison, 35, was one of several veteran signings the Texans made this offseason to add depth to their front seven. He had a productive season with the Bills last season, notching seven sacks despite not starting any games. In his absence, Harris and Pierre-Louis will provide depth in the edge rush departmenton Sunday, and likely the short-term future as well.
Quick reminder that standard game day practice squad promotions are a recent development from the new CBA and COVID-19 seasons. Essentially, each team is able to promote two players from the practice squad to the active roster for game days. The players will automatically revert back to the practice squad after the game, not needing to clear waivers before rejoining the developmental roster. A player can only be promoted three times per season. If a team would like to promote a player for a fourth game, they’ll need to go through the normal method of creating space on the 53-man roster to promote them and have them clear waivers before placing them back on the practice squad. That is the difference between “Signed to 53-man roster” from the practice squad and “Promoted from practice squad.”
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These 49ers, Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
It sounded like Trace McSorley had an opportunity to stick on the roster as a third QB behind Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy, but the Cardinals decided to carry only a pair of quarterbacks through their first wave of cuts. There’s a chance that McSorley resurfaces on the practice squad. The former sixth-round pick has seen time in three career games, completing three of his 10 pass attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown.
Aaron Brewer is a bit of a surprise cut after serving as the Cardinals full-time long snapper for the past six years. However, there’s a good chance the 32-year-old lands back on the active roster once the Cardinals place players on their respective reserve lists. The same could also probably be said of tight end Stephen Anderson, who caught 24 passes across 33 games with the Chargers over the past two seasons.
Marquis Hayes was a seventh-round pick by the Cardinals in this year’s draft. The Oklahoma product will sit out his rookie campaign while sitting on injured reserve.
Following Jeff Gladney‘s tragic death last week, the Cardinals have a glaring need at cornerback. They had signed Gladney in March, going ahead with a second chance for the former Vikings first-round pick. But Gladney and his girlfriend died in a car accident May 30.
Byron Murphy remains the Cardinals’ top cornerback, but uncertainty surrounds the versatile cover man. The circumstances have moved the Cardinals toward a familiar face. Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday (via SI.com’s Howard Balzer) the team has been in contact with Robert Alford, who played for the Cardinals last season after missing two full years due to injury.
Alford is 33, however, and missed four games last season after his two-year absence. The Cardinals hosted the veteran defender in March, doing so not long after signing Gladney. Circling back to Alford would be reasonable, given his familiarity with Vance Joseph‘s scheme, though there are several available corners who would be upgrades on what Arizona rosters now.
“That’s a tragic situation and we understand that, but we’re always trying to improve our roster,” Kingsbury said of the Cards’ cornerback circumstances. “And that’s a position that we’d like to bring in a few more veteran players that we could before training camp, and so we’ll see what’s out there in the next couple of weeks.
“… We’ve been in contact with Rob and we’ll just kind of see how that plays out.”
The Falcons drafted Alford in the 2013 second round and used him as a 76-game starter. Alford, whose pick-six in Super Bowl LI gave Atlanta a 21-0 second-quarter lead, signed a four-year, $38MM extension during that 2016 season. After the Falcons made Alford a cap casualty in 2019, the Cardinals signed him. But a broken leg and torn pectoral muscle, respectively, sidelined him for the 2019 and ’20 seasons. He started five Cards games last season, intercepted a pass and fared much better in coverage than he did in 2018. Passers compiled a collective 81.7 rating with Alford as the closest defender last season — a far superior mark to the 138.5 figure Alford allowed in 2018.
With Murphy absent at Cardinals OTAs Tuesday, Jace Whittaker frequently joined 2021 starter Marco Wilson with the first unit, Balzer adds. It would be stunning if the Cards did not add at least one vet here. The likes of Jackrabbit Jenkins, Kevin King, Joe Haden, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes lead the group of outside coverage players available. An Alford Arizona return might be accompanied by an agreement with a member of this quintet. Either way, Gladney’s death will force the Cardinals to act at cornerback.