Patrick Peterson has been suspended for the first six games of the regular season and the Cardinals are left searching for a temporary replacement in his absence.
First reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, cornerback Tramaine Brock will have the first shot at the starting job.
From Up to the Minute Live: The #AZCardinals are likely to give Tramaine Brock the first shot to replace suspended CB Patrick Peterson, who is expected to spend OTAs with his family. He'll be back for mandatory minicamp. pic.twitter.com/V8b6RRWiEP— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 17, 2019
The 10-year veteran cornerback was primarily a special-teams player the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings. Brock does have significant starting experience, making 45 starts and nabbing 11 interceptions in his career.
David Amerson has the ideal size for a cornerback at 6-1 205 pounds but has struggled with consistency throughout his career. Though he is still trying to recapture his 2015 form when he had four interceptions and 25 pass deflections, this will likely be the final chance at a crack at a starting job.
Beyond them, the Cardinals do have a couple more veterans on the roster with Josh Shaw and Brandon Williams . Neither of them have proven to be any good. The Cardinals want their second-round pick Byron Murphy to play in the slot.
Due to the lack of recent success by the veterans behind Peterson and Robert Alford, the Cardinals could look to free agency or trade for help.
We’ve seen the Cardinals trade for Marcus Cooper and Jamar Taylor in the past. There have been reports that Broncos’ Chris Harris could demand a trade and Vikings’ Trae Waynes is indeed on the trade block.
Though it would be a dream to acquire Harris, Waynes is a more realistic option if the Vikings have an ideal price tag on him.
There are still interesting names in free agency such as Morris Claiborne, Brent Grimes, and Orlando Scandrick. Whether or not they are upgrades over the depth the Cardinals currently have is up to you to decide. The remaining cornerbacks in free agency were disappointing in 2018.
The Cardinals could try to counter the blow to their secondary by adding another safety to their roster. Darian Stewart and Tre Boston should be the favorites if the team decides to go in that direction.
With that said, who will win the starting job opposite Robert Alford in Patrick Peterson’s absence?
Peterson is arguably the top cornerback in the NFL and replacing him is no easy task. Whoever the starter will be, the pressure will be on him for six games to play respectably well until Peterson’s return.