The Arizona Cardinals announced they have signed cornerback Robert Alford to a three-year contract. In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Alford (5-10, 186) played the past six seasons with Atlanta (2013-18) and appeared in 88 games (76 starts) after entering the league with the Falcons as a second-round selection (60th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Southeastern Louisiana. After taking over as a starting corner as a rookie, Alford has started each of the last 76 games he has appeared in.
Over the last four seasons (2015-18), Alford played 62 of a possible 64 games for the Falcons. In his career, the 30-year old Alford has recorded 291 tackles (243 solo), 10 interceptions, 85 passes defensed, four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He also had 30 tackles, an interception and nine passes defensed in five career postseason games. Alford has returned three interceptions for touchdowns in his NFL career (two regular season; one postseason), including an interception off Tom Brady in Super Bowl LI that he returned 82 yards for a score against the Patriots.
Last season with the Falcons, Alford started all 15 games he appeared in and had 50 tackles (43 solo) and 11 passes defensed. He was released by Atlanta on Tuesday.
Pro Football Focus graded Alford out as the 105th best CB in the NFL. With a grade of 56.6. If PFF isn’t your thing, here are some numbers from Football Outsiders charting stats. Alford allowed 11.9 yards per pass. That is good for 182nd. Success rate is what really matters. That is the percentage of plays where the CB was in coverage and did not meet the baseline for offensive success. Example is 45% on first down, 60% on second down, and 100% on third down. Alford finished with a 34% success rate. That’s good for 174th in the league. For reference, that Patrick Peterson guy had a 61% success rate. David Amerson 57%.
Alford could be viewed as a slot option for the team. He’s a very good athlete and has had success in the NFL. He just did not have a good year in 2018. For what it’s worth, charting corners is the most volatile stat in the NFL. It’s hwy guys like Peterson remain at the top. Because it’s so tough to consistently good.