Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Cardinals could “potentially add” Pro Bowl cornerback, analyst says

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The Arizona Cardinals could have a real chance of bolstering an emergency position in the coming off-season.

Of course, the Cardinals are on their way to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the Wild Card round on January 17th.

But no matter what, the team showed weaknesses and depth problems in the cornerback position in 2021. Cornerback Robert Alford, 33, was put in reserve on December 18, and rookie Marco Wilson has missed three games and had a plus-and-down season due to injury.

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According to Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, the Cardinals could run JC Jackson in the 2021 Pro Bowl selection. The 26-year-old was undrafted and signed by the New England Patriots in 2018 and has become a sensation. Jackson has had 17 interceptions in the past two years and has taken over the Pats’ cornerback room, with all-pro corner Stephon Gillmore no longer a patriot.

Jackson will be a free agent in 2022 but could hit franchise day, much like all-pro guard Joe Thuney did in 2020. But Thuney then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in the Free Agency the following year.

If Jackson were to be available in the open market in any given year, you’d better believe that General Manager Steve Keim has his ears hooked on Jackson’s contract claims.

Sobleski thinks Jackson is the potential white whale for the Cardinals’ cornerback troubles.

The Cardinals signed former Patriot cornerback Malcolm Butler to a one-year contract in the 2021 offseason and were marked as a starter. Unfortunately, Butler was grappling with a personal matter that forced the 31-year-old into retirement.

Fortunately, Arizona’s cornerbacks were way ahead of schedule in the first half of the season. Alford and Murphy (52.8%) were the only teammates in the NFL to score below 59% while being attacked at least 30 times.

But cornerbacks have been inconsistent for the last five games of the 2021 season. The Cardinals were mistreated when they met the Rams in December.

Murphy has also had PFF coverage levels less than 45 in three of the last four games.

Another part of their inconsistencies has to do with Alford and Wilson’s injuries. The Cardinals are decimated on position and have relied on practice players like Breon Borders and Kevin Peterson.

Jackson ranks ninth in the league in reporting with a score of 83.0 over PFF.

The undrafted cornerback from Maryland would cement the position of the outside cornerback and make life easier for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

The undrafted cornerback from Maryland would cement the position of the outside cornerback and make life easier for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

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