The Cardinals have signed former Falcons cornerback Robert Alford to a three-year contract, the club announced today. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported (via Twitter) that Alford, who was released by Atlanta earlier this week, was working out an agreement with the Cards.
Alford’s thee-year pact has a base value of $22.5MM and could be worth up to $24MM, tweets Rapoport. The ex-Falcons defensive back was earning $9.5MM annually under his Atlanta contract, so Alford will take a pay cut as he heads to the Cardinals. His deal reportedly contains $13MM in guarantees, although those are likely injury guarantees and not full guarantees.
Arizona has previously attempted to fill its No. 2 corner void by making veteran additions, and it’s worked at points, with Antonio Cromartie and Tramon Williams representing success stories opposite top defensive back Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals attempted a similar strategy in 2018 by acquiring Jamar Taylor from the Browns prior to the regular season, but he struggled in the desert and was ultimately released in November.
Career journeyman Bene Benwikere ended up playing the second-most snaps of any Cardinals cornerback last year, but Arizona ranked just 23rd in DVOA against opposing No. 2 wideouts, so they were searching for an upgrade. As a bonus, Alford won’t affect the Cards’ compensatory pick calculations given that he was a street free agent following his release from the Falcons.
Alford, 30, had been one of Atlanta’s longest-tenured players, as he’d been with the club since being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft. An 88-game veteran, Alford started 15 games a season ago but posted arguably the worst campaign of his pro career. Pro Football Focus graded Alford as a bottom-10 cornerback league-wide, while he ranked dead last among 85 qualifiers in Football Outsiders’ yards per pass allowed and success rate.
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