In 2018 the Cardinals were less warriors and more waving the white flag as soon as they were punched in the face.
Not quite what you want on the battlefield of the gridiron, to which the lofty heights of expectations have mounted upon the team following the addition of their new admiral in Kliff Kingsbury and field general in Kyler Murray.
The Cardinals are hoping to engage the enemy with a sharper, more swift sword on the offensive side of the ball. And on the defensive side, improve their ability to stop teams and be a shield for the rest of the team, taking blow upon blow without shattering.
So far, that’s gonna be hard to do at the cornerback position. Patrick Peterson is out for 6 games, Robert Alford for longer. The Cardinals need a veteran option as right now they have Trumaine Brock and two first time players in Chris Jones and Byron Murphy after him.
Sam Shields is probably the best fit on the market right now for the Arizona Cardinals.
Shields is an 8 year veteran, who’s only 31 as far as age goes and while he’s had his share of injury issues (concussions), he comes from an aggressive, attacking cover defense. He spent time with Dom Capers’ defense in Green Bay and last year with the Rams, mostly as a special teams player behind Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.
But as far as veterans go, he still should have the skills to contribute to the team—at the very least, as a replacement for Brandon Williams, who’s been atrocious in the nuances of the corner position in terms of looking back for the ball and staying disciplined in coverage.
And honestly, if nothing else, if the Cardinals are going to fail at the beginning—it’s better to have the person taking that confidence hit be a 31 year old veteran who’s been through it all before than a young 21 year old with their whole life ahead of them.
I’d rather have Sam Shields take the blame for Julio Jones potentially torching the team on a deep ball than see the fanbase turn on a young Byron Murphy who’s still adjusting to the NFL speed of the game.
I’d rather have Sam Shields outside providing reps so that Chris Jones can be developed and if he is going to be exposed, not let it be so quickly.
I’d rather have Sam Shields be on special teams contributing to the team even if that’s all he can do than see Brandon Williams step in as a 4th cornerback (something that seems to happen often) and even provide some veteran help to the team should Trumaine Brock end up getting hurt as well.
All of these reasons make sense. Now, will the money, health and will to play line up with Arizona? And will there be a more talented veteran who might be out there instead either through trade, waiver claim or signing?
There might be.
But this is a Keim Time sign that, amidst 4 needs at wide receiver, defensive line, offensive line and cornerback, would see 75% of those critical needs addressed on paper.
And even if it doesn’t translate to the field, as they may or may not say....two vets are better than one.
What are your thoughts, Cardinals fans? Should Arizona sign Sam Shields?
You can listen to @blakemurphy7 on the Revenge of the Birds podcast.