NFL Exec Proposes Broncos CB as Trade Deadline Upgrade for Cardinals

Getty Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller warms up before a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on August 21.

Any doubt whether the Arizona Cardinals were all-in this season should be erased by the recent addition of Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz.

The October 15 trade to replace injured TE Maxx Williams follows a series of offseason additions (J.J. Watt, A.J. Green, Rodney Hudson and Matt Prater) that indicate the Cardinals clearly believe they’re contenders.

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In a story reviewing NFL buyers and sellers as the November 2 trade deadline looms, The Athletic’s Mike Sando notes the Ertz deal and raises questions about whether the Cardinals’ roster is set.

“Arizona is 6-0 and doesn’t need to do anything after acquiring tight end Zach Ertz,” Sando writes, “but if general manager Steve Keim were sitting at a blackjack table, he’d have to feel great about doubling down, right? Why not send a later-round pick to Denver for veteran corner Kyle Fuller?”

Sando quotes an unnamed NFL executive who suggests the Denver Broncos cornerback as a trade-deadline upgrade for the Cardinals:

“Arizona likes Marco Wilson, they like Byron Murphy, but it is just that opposite corner spot where they could upgrade over (Robert) Alford,” an exec said. “Fuller would be someone to keep in mind. The Broncos are loaded at corner, so they can stomach taking something less for Fuller than, say, the Dolphins with Xavien Howard.”

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Report: Broncos Want 3rd or 4th Rounder for Fuller

If the Cardinals decide to make a run at Fuller, it’s likely to cost them a third- or fourth-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“The Denver Broncos, armed with four good cornerbacks, received calls on Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan in the preseason,” Fowler reported on October 12. “What they wanted in return wasn’t cheap: roughly a third- or fourth-rounder, multiple teams told me.”

The Cardinals also are likely to have some competition in landing Fuller, as Fowler listed the BillsGiants, Jets, Seahawks and Texans as possible suiters for the two-time Pro Bowler.

Fuller is playing on a one-year, $9 million deal and will be a free agent after this season.

Do the Cardinals Need an Upgrade at CB?

Fuller, 29, played only two defensive snaps in the Broncos’ 34-24 home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders after starting the first five games of the season, according to PFF, perhaps signaling an end to his time in Denver.

Fuller’s PFF coverage grade of 40.6 is the lowest of the six corners who have seen action this season for the Broncos. His overall defensive grade of 44.8 isn’t much better.

While injuries and Malcolm Butler’s sudden retirement have created questions at cornerback for the Cardinals, Murphy, Wilson and Alford have done a good job answering many of them.

Alford, a nine-year veteran, also is healthy for the first time since signing a three-year deal with Arizona in February 2019. He played his best game of the sesaon in the Cardinals’ 37-14 road win over the Browns.

Alford’s interception of Browns QB Baker Mayfield was his first since December 31, 2017, when the then-Atlanta Falcons corner picked off former Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton.

His 78 overall defensive grade was a season-high and the fifth-highest individual grade on the team against the Browns. Alford’s 78.8 score in coverage also was his top grade of the season.

In addition to his 11th career interception, Alford also had three pass breakups against the Browns, including a fourth-quarter, fourth-down play when he knocked away a pass intended for Odell Beckham Jr. to give the ball back to Arizona.

While adding Fuller to the roster would provide depth at cornerback for the Cardinals, the eight-year pro would have his work cut out for him to overtake Alford’s spot on the depth chart.

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Don Patterson
Don Patterson
1 year ago

Never happen, Cardinals pass protection is solid, SK wouldn’t even consider 4th round pick for a backup that’s not even playing at the level our #3 is.