And just like that, Robert Alford has found a new home.
The Arizona Cardinals have signed the cornerback to a three-year contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of the deal. The team later made the news official.
Alford’s deal is worth $22.5 million in base salary and up to $24 million, a source told Rapoport, and the cornerback will reap $13.5 million in guaranteed money.
The veteran was just released by the Falcons on Tuesday after spending six seasons in Atlanta. Alford was due $8.5 million in 2019 before the Falcons cut him loose.
The 30-year-old spent his entire career with the Falcons, appearing in 88 games in six seasons, recording 303 tackles, 85 passes defended, 10 interceptions, one forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns. Alford turned a brilliant 2016 season, when he snagged two picks including a pick-six en route to a Super Bowl berth, into a four-year contract extension.
Now after a substandard 2018 and his ensuing release, the corner will have to rebound and rise like a phoenix in Arizona.
With the Cardinals, Alford will join Patrick Peterson in the defensive backfield, forming one of the top veteran cornerback tandems in the league. Last season, Arizona struggled to locate a partner across from Pat P and cycled through the likes of Jamar Taylor, Bené Benwikere and David Amerson. Now the Cardinals employ a battle-tested group in Alford (30), Peterson (28), Antoine Bethea (34), D.J. Swearinger (27) and Budda Baker (23).
The addition of Alford and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph should help shore up a defense that ranked 20th in yards allowed per game, 26th in points allowed per game and 17th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA in 2018.