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PFF Believes Cardinals Secondary Has 'Serious Flaws'

The Arizona Cardinals were given a low ranking in secondary rankings by Pro Football Focus.
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The Arizona Cardinals made a few cornerback additions to upgrade a secondary that showed flaws during the end of the 2021 season. 

Arizona signed former first-round Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney in March and drafted cornerback Christian Matthew in the seventh round of the NFL draft. The Cardinals also signed former second-round cornerback Josh Jackson after the second day of mandatory minicamp. 

Unfortunately, the devastating death of Jeff Gladney on Memorial Day morning could force the team into adding a veteran piece.

Pro Football Focus graded secondaries heading into the 2022 NFL season. The Seattle Seahawks were given the worst mark in the NFC West, as they were ranked 30th. 

PFF's Michael Renner ranked the Cardinals' secondary 27th and labeled the group as having "serious flaws." 

"The Cardinals finished 24th in team coverage grade last year, and for some reason, this unit went all but ignored over the course of the offseason," Renner wrote. "It wasn’t until they drafted cornerback Christian Matthew in the seventh round out of Valdosta State that they addressed this unit."

Arizona has been in contact with free agent Robert Alford, who had the best cornerback PFF grade (66.9) on the Cardinals in 2021. Byron Murphy Jr.'s PFF coverage grade was 62.1 and rookie Marco Wilson struggled as he posted a 47.8 coverage grade.

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However, safety Budda Baker made his fourth Pro Bowl last season and Jalen Thompson had 101 tackles and scored a 71.8 coverage grade. The Cardinals' safety duo is arguably one of the best in the league.

The Cardinals currently have Murphy and Wilson as their top two cornerbacks. The Cardinals' defense allowed 3,645 yards and 30 passing touchdowns, which ranked seventh and tied for 25th, respectively, in the league. Of course, it should be noted that eight teams allowed 27, 28 or 29 touchdown passes.

Other than Matthew and Jackson, Breon Borders, Jace Whittaker, Antonio Hamilton and Nate Brooks make up the rest of the corner group. Depth issues hurt the Cardinals in the back end of the 2021 season. Key injuries down the stretch to Alford and Wilson forced the team to give downs to Kevin Peterson, Whittaker and Borders. Hamilton had a 64.7 coverage grade in 313 snaps.

According to OverTheCap, the Cardinals have $11.5 million in cap space to work with. There's a possibility that Arizona can add a veteran cornerback or two to help deepen the depth chart.

After the passing of Gladney, Kingsbury acknowledged that the Cardinals will scour for additional cornerback help.

"That's a tragic situation and we understand that, but we're always trying to improve our roster," Kingsbury said during OTAs. "And that's a position that we'd like to bring in a few more veteran players that we could before training camp, and so we'll see what's out there in the next couple of weeks.”

Injuries happen, and if an injury hits any of Arizona's top two corners, it could spell even more trouble.