first_img Comments   Share   (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File) “Excited about that opportunity as well to continue to improve not only different positions but the backend of our roster.”That, Keim has done. The challenge, especially when it comes to the most talented players waived, is believing their red flags can be mitigated if not outright fixed.Related LinksNew Cardinal D.J. Swearinger learns lessons with release from RedskinsArizona Cardinals roster reset after the 2018 seasonDating back to the end of last season, the Cardinals have picked up a number of players from the waiver wire and off the street to begin the roster refurbishing before first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Keim hit the draft and free agency markets.Here is who they’ve picked up since the last few weeks of 2018 so far.Safety D.J. Swearinger (Dec. 25, 2018)(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)Arguably the most impactful player on this list, Swearinger had enough juice in 2018 to earn some Pro Bowl hype with Washington. So one might wonder why he landed on the waiver wire at all.The safety was critical of his defensive coordinator’s play-calling following a loss to the Tennessee Titans, and his heated postgame comments to reporters didn’t sit well with his team. Washington released him, and Arizona pulled the trigger on bringing back a familiar face who played for the Cardinals in part of 2015 and all of 2016. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo You thought Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was kidding when he expressed excitement over having — not the No. 1 overall draft pick — the top waiver-wire claim spot.He wasn’t.The NFL Draft and free agency are months away, but Arizona has already been plugging holes with hopes of turning around a franchise fresh off a 3-13 season.“Generally when I’ve looked back to previous seasons, the team who has had the number one claim pick has generally claimed … I think it was five to seven players in final cuts who have stuck with their team and certainly helped out in one way or another,” Keim told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. Top Stories A hard-hitting safety, Swearinger recorded 53 tackles, three forced fumbles, four interceptions and 10 passes defensed a year ago. Along with the smaller Antoine Bethea and Budda Baker, Swearinger could slot in Arizona’s defensive backfield with Tre Boston entering free agency.Swearinger didn’t appear in Cardinal red with so little time to learn Arizona’s system under since-fired coach Steve Wilks but is under contract through 2019.Cornerback Robert Alford (Feb. 7)(AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)At a very late point in the 2018 season, Alford had allowed more yards (737) than any other cornerback in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. He lost his job to rookie Isaiah Oliver and was released by Atlanta to clear nearly $8 million in cap space.The 2013 second-round pick had his moments in six years with the Falcons, a pick-six of Tom Brady in Super Bowl LI among them.Arizona signed him to a three-year deal that could reach up to $24 million, and Keim said Alford is one of the more talented cornerbacks opposite Patrick Peterson the Cardinals have had in some time. Keim also divulged on Doug & Wolf during Newsmakers Week that Alford’s production dropped off after a Sept. 30 game against the Cincinnati Bengals that included a high-ankle sprain — doctors told him not to play on the injury.last_img

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