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Robert Alford Returns To Cardinals On One-Year Deal

Veteran cornerback re-entering the fold after getting released

CB Robert Alford will aim to stay healthy and secure a starting job in 2021.
CB Robert Alford will aim to stay healthy and secure a starting job in 2021.

Robert Alford will get another chance with the Cardinals after all.

The veteran cornerback was released earlier this week following two straight lost seasons due to injury, but re-signed on Friday, according to the NFL's official transactions page. It is a one-year deal, per NFL Network.

Alford had a $9 million cap hit on his former contract, which was too exorbitant based on his injury history. The release allowed Alford to test the open market, but clearly there was mutual interest in a return to the Cardinals.

He now comes back at a smaller figure, and should have a chance to compete for a starting role. Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick – the cornerback the Cardinals signed when Alford went down – are both impending free agents, and it's unknown if either will return.

Alford was the clear-cut No. 2 cornerback heading into each of the last two seasons, but broke his leg during training camp in 2019 and tore his pectoral muscle in 2020 in training camp.

Alford, 32, joins slot cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. as the established pieces at the position. The Cardinals still figure to be active in free agency, the draft or both this offseason to further fortify their cornerback group.

In other news, restricted free agent wide receiver Trent Sherfield is not expected to be extended a qualifying offer, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. The Cardinals could still have interest in bringing him back, as Sherfield is a key cog on special teams.

Images of some of the top unrestricted free agents scheduled to hit the open market