Robert Alford will return to the Arizona Cardinals and has agreed to a one-year contract days after being released, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Arizona cut Alford on Wednesday in a move that saved the team $7.5 million in cap space. He was set to make $9 million next season.
The new deal guarantees him a chance to fight for a starting cornerback role that he’s yet to debut in after joining the Cardinals in February 2019.
Having been cut from the Atlanta Falcons that month, Alford inked a three-year, $22.5 million contract with Arizona to become the No. 2 cornerback alongside Patrick Peterson. He shined in the ensuing training camp but broke his leg in late August of 2019, ending his season.
Alford, 32, was recovered before this past year and again stood out in training camp. In August, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle that again sidelined him for the season.
It’s likely Alford would not have garnered much interest in the free agent market having not played in an NFL game since the 2018 season as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
That season, the cornerback recorded 50 tackles with 11 passes defensed but struggled through an ankle injury that he said limited his production.
Heading into 2021 free agency back with Arizona, Alford joins a slim cornerback room. Slot man Byron Murphy remains under contract, but starter Patrick Peterson and veterans Dre Kirkpatrick and Johnathan Joseph are free agents.
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