Alford signed a four-year, $38 million extension with the Falcons on Thursday, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports. Alford has been a constant in the Atlanta secondary for the past four seasons, collecting two or more interceptions in each year with the team. Through 12 games in 2016, the 28-year-old has also racked up 47 combined tackles, putting him well on pace to surpass his career high. The Southeastern Louisiana product was handsomely rewarded for those efforts Thursday.
Alford picked off two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and posted three tackles Sunday against the Panthers. The interceptions were the first two on the year for Alford, leaving him the fourth-year cornerback one short of his career high. However, this was the second time in the last two years that he's taken one of those picks to the house. In addition, he's averaging 5.25 tackles per game which puts him on pace for a career-high in that category. Based on the numbers he's posted in three-plus years in the league, he isn't likely to post big enough numbers to be rostered in most IDP leagues.
Alford recorded a season high eight tackles in Week 17 against the Saints. Alford had a less than spectacular season for the 8-8 Falcons this season. He did manage to set a new season high with 53 total tackles in his third season in the league, and he returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown, but he was also penalized nine times, which was the second most on the team. He should continue to grow into his role in 2016.
Falcons cornerback Robert Alford knows that in order to continue to play at a high level he has to keep expanding his game, per ESPN.com. Alford wants to be ready if his coaches approach him and ask for the 26-year-old to move down to the slot and play more in a nickleback role. "I'd love to play outside and nickel," Alford said. "I told the coaches I'd love to play both. Wherever they need me, I'm willing to play. As long as I'm on the field being able to compete and show my talent, I feel good." Alford recorded 31 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games last season.
Falcons cornerback Robert Alford is expected to train with recently retired cornerback Ryan Clark in Louisiana this offseason, reports ESPN. The former Steelers corner announced his retirement on Wednesday and is expected to serve as an analyst on ESPN. Alford knows Clark through his brother, former Saints corner Fred Booker, who was Clark's college roommate at LSU. "All the advice and things I do have to offer him he's going to get, from helping him watch film to helping him understand where he was beat on certain plays, to how he can improve himself, physically," Clark said. "But also the mental approach to the game. So I'm excited about getting an opportunity to work with him. Anytime you get a chance to work with a true friend, somebody you've known a long time, it's exciting."