The Arizona Cardinals have been mighty busy this week. Both linebacker Brooks Reed and cornerback Robert Alford were released by the Atlanta Falcons and both of them found themselves going to the Cardinals just days later.
The signing in and of itself is a bit odd considering the the Cardinals urgency and the Falcons playing more of a 4-3 system than a 3-4. The system fit isn’t a huge deal given the positions, if it were linemen it’d be a bit more interesting. In any case, the Cardinals scooped up two decent additions.
Alford had a respectable 2018, playing in 15 games and not notching a single interception, but defending 11 passes. The Falcons saved $7.8 million in salary cap space by cutting him. At 30 years old and on a three-year, up to $24 million deal, he might be on the last long contract of his career if age catches up to him.
Brooks Reed didn’t have so much of a great season, starting in only eight games and walking away with 16 total tackles. He’s also in his early 30s, but as a linebacker, he might have some more shelf life.
Both of these players came from a Dan Quinn system, which as you know, is birthed from Pete Carroll’s system in Seattle. As you also know, Robert Saleh’s system with the San Francisco 49ers is branched from the same tree. The 49ers could use cornerback competition and depth a linebacker so the system fit and the needs could have been useful. Alford in particular could have wrenched a starting job opposite Richard Sherman which would make the cornerback unit, with Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore as backups, solid.
It begs the question on if the 49ers should have looked into bringing either or both into the team for training camp. Do you think the 49ers should have picked up the phone? The Cardinals were certainly in a hurry to get a deal done days after their releases happened, so perhaps they were worried about the 49ers—or someone else—bartering for their services.
Were you disappointed? Did you want either of these guys in the red and gold?