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ESPN names Alford signing as Cards’ most impactful offseason move

Atlanta Falcons' Robert Alford celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Coming into the 2019 NFL free agency period, the Cardinals had a lot of holes that needed to be filled. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and most of those vacancies looked to be taken care of.

The team used this period to sign players such as inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and guard J.R. Sweezy, all of whom look to be upgrades upon last year’s squad.

According to ESPN, though, none of these acquisitions were as important as their signing of cornerback Robert Alford, which they named as the Cardinals’ most impactful move of the offseason.

Signing Robert Alford fills a significant void opposite Patrick Peterson at cornerback, which has been a position of concern for the past few seasons. Alford stops a carousel of corners since Jerraud Powers retired almost two years ago, at least for the time being. While Alford might not end up being the long-term answer at the position, he will provide the Cardinals a solution for this season and potentially in 2020.

The Alford signing might be the move that filled the biggest need, as the Cardinals have struggled to find a consistent running mate opposite Peterson ever since he came into the league eight years ago. Last season, they used three different players at the second cornerback spot (Jamar Taylor, Bene Benwikere and David Amerson), all of whom were less than impressive in their time as starters.

Alford was a consistent presence in the Falcons’ secondary over the past six seasons, and the Cardinals will look for him to be a stabilizing presence for them as well. As mentioned in the ESPN article, the 30-year-old Alford may not be a long-term answer, but he should be able to provide some solid production for this season and next.

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