How do the Arizona Cardinals recover from the loss of Robert Alford for the second time?
At some point, teams and players mutually have to decide that things are not going to work out. I believe that time is now or, at the most, the end of 2020 for Robert Alford and the Arizona Cardinals.
Cutting Alford now wouldn’t result in any cap saving so holding him through 2020 in case he can return wouldn’t cost the Cardinals anything extra. It could lead to exterior noise that could be distracting in the building but I don’t see that being an issue with this group.
The Cardinals can’t afford to have Alford holding such a large piece of the salary cap moving forward and should release him at some point before the 2021 offseason begins. If they were to release him, he only carries $1.5 million in dead cap in 2021, with a potential $9 million cap hit if he was retained on the team.
Replacements currently on the Arizona Cardinals roster.
The most important person on this list is not the most obvious. For most outsiders looking in, the easy answer is Byron Murphy. Murphy was a second-round draft pick in 2019 and struggled when he was forced into playing outside corner in 2019.
He is set to play inside and the Cardinals would be making a mistake if they forced him outside in year two as well. The player most capable to play the second outside corner is Chris Jones.
Although Jones is not well known he put together a respectable year in 2019. PFF graded Jones a 72.6 in pass coverage, which was the best on the team. He played 229 snaps at the outside corner out of his total 253 snaps last season.
He showed enough to be a serviceable outside corner in the league but this is a position the Cardinals have to improve. Behind Jones, the Cardinals depth at cornerback is between Kevin Peterson and undrafted free agent, Zane Lewis, who both are not ready for a full time starting role.