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Arizona Cardinals cornerback room looks strong, but age could be an issue

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals made some bold moves in their 2019 offseason.

They signed Robert Alford to a big contract to be the teams second cornerback, then took a top five player on the Big Board in Byron Murphy.

For the first time, maybe in the Steve Keim era, the cornerback room looks strong and like it has an identity for the next several seasons.

However, there is one thing that could knock this and it is undefeated... Father time.

The boys and girls over at Mile High Report did a deep dive into cornerback dropoff years and the Cardinals could be hitting a home run or falling off a cliff fast.

It’s easy to see from the data why no teams are committing significant guaranteed dollars to corners past the age of 32.

While there is a case to be made that excellent play can still happen well past 30 years old with very special players, and I believe Chris Harris fits that bill, the overarching story of the data supports the fact that this is a dangerous age to commit long-term dollars to a player.

Part of the reason the Cardinals were allegedly able to get Alford over other teams was because they were willing to give him three years and basically two guaranteed.

One of the big things in the article is not the loss of performance from aging cornerbacks, but the loss of time on the field.

Alford is in his league age 31 season, and the number of players are able to stay healthy and stay on the field, but following the league age 31 year, there is a huge decline in the number of 32 year old corners who play 12 games.

That also could play a role in the contract extension talks with Patrick Peterson. Peterson will be 29 this year and is looking to cash in one more time. Will the Cardinals be willing to pony up past that league age 32 season, or could that become a sticking point?

Obviously, it will be something to monitor moving forward, but it is interesting to look at.