The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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How to Fix the Cardinals Cornerback Problem

With Malcolm Butler's unexpected decision to retire twelve days before the Cardinals season opener, the team is in a bit of a pickle.

Looming in Week1 are WR's Julio Jones and AJ Brown. After that, the Cardinals welcome Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to town. In week 3, Trevor Lawrence is on the docket with DJ Chark, Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault. Then its the diabolical mind of Sean McVay with rocket armed Matthew Stafford slinging to Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Desean Jackson. Week 5, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk come to town followed by a quick trip to Cleveland for Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Should I stop there?

Its a passing league and the Cardinals secondary right now is a failure.

Robert Alford becomes Patrick Peterson's heir apparent by default. I'm not even sure Alford is a real NFL player; it feels more like a two year long catfishing by the former Falcons corner who has cashed checks for several years but not made a single tackle. He could be the Bishop Sycamore of NFL cornerbacks for all we know. Byron Murphy shined as a slot corner last year but could be ticketed outside, where he struggled badly as a rookie. And Marco Wilson might have to throw a few more shoes this year just to try and keep up with NFL WR's as the promising rookie will likely be thrust into a starting role.

Not ideal.

Good thing the Cardinals have two first round inside linebackers on their roster right now.

So what's the solution for the Cardinals?

Steve Keim can't fleece Bill Belichick again, as he once did when he acquired Chandler Jones for a 2nd round pick. All Pro CB Stephon Gilmore is injured and on the PUP list.

Xavien Howard was a hungry mouth in Miami for a few minutes but the Dolphins quickly offered a financial appetizer to stop the grumbling.

There are some free agent options: Dre Kirkpatrick, Quinton Dunbar, Desmond Trufant, Gareon Conley, and Jimmy Moreland are all experienced defensive backs who are available on the waiver wire or free agency. Who should the Cardinals target? Yes.

Yes, all of them. Throw as much against the wall and see what sticks.

But the Cardinals might be better off spending most of their time bargain shopping on offense.

Keke Coutee, John Brown and Antonio Gandy Golden might be their best solutions for a porous secondary. Put as much firepower on the field and hope that the offense can carry the day.

The Cardinals will be far from the only NFC West team with an Achilles heel in the secondary. San Francisco and Seattle both have major questions there.

If you can't beat them defensively, why not join them and try to beat them in the air.

It's what everyone will be doing against the Cardinals this year, let's see if they can keep up.

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