Typically, such a role has yielded plenty of looks from opposing quarterbacks and thus elevated production. That said, the position was a revolving door in 2018, hence the reason Keim pounced once Alford was released by the Falcons on Feb. 5. While Alford has picked off just three passes the last three seasons, he's averaged 61 tackles per 16 games during that stretch. A similar projection for 2019 is reasonable to expect, with an increase in interceptions possible with Peterson on the other side.
Alford was released by the Falcons on Tuesday as the team looked to create some extra cap space ahead of free agency. The former second-round pick struggled a bit in 2018, recording no interceptions and posting his worst tackle numbers in four years. He'll enter his age-30 season in 2019 and will add to Arizona's secondary depth and could start at cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson.
Alford was released by the Falcons on Tuesday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
The cornerback was due $8.5 million in the upcoming season, but Atlanta opted to let him go after he struggled a bit during the 2017 campaign. Alford recorded just 50 tackles last season - his lowest mark since 2014 - and failed to grab an interception for the first time as a pro. Most experts expect him to find a new landing spot fairly soon, though it's currently unclear as to where that will be.
Alford collected five tackles during Sunday's 28-16 loss to the Browns.
The sixth-year defensive back has dealt with an ankle injury for the past two weeks, but his level of play overall this season has been well below par. Alford owns a season-long performance grade of 48.5 from Pro Football Focus, a career low for him, and easily the worst of any of the Falcons' top four cornerbacks. After the Atlanta secondary got diced up by Baker Mayfield on Sunday (85 percent completion rate, three passing touchdowns), Alford and the defensive backs look to get back on track in Week 11 taking on Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' bottom five pass offense (194 yards per game).
Alford was a full participant in Friday's practice after having been limited to begin the week. The starting cornerback will return to Atlanta's lineup after missing last week's win over the Redskins, and he'll attempt to contain Baker Mayfield and the Browns on Sunday.
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