Atlanta Falcons: It’s Time to Move on From Cornerback Robert Alford

Atlanta Falcons Robert Alford (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Robert Alford (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons Robert Alford (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /


Robert Alford is in his second NFL contract. He signed a four-year 38 million dollar contract extension on December 8 2016. According to, Robert Alford is counting 9.6 million dollars against the Atlanta Falcons salary cap number. His cap charge is fifth on the team.

Robert Alford’s cap charge will drop slightly next season. He will count 9.1 million dollars against the cap next year. That number isn’t too damaging to the team’s salary structure, however it’s much too high for a player who ranks as one of the worse in the NFL.

The good news for the Atlanta Falcons, is in the offseason the team can release Robert Alford if they choose to do so. If the team releases Alford he will count only 600,000 in dead money against the salary cap. Cutting Alford would give the Falcons 8.5 million dollars in cap relief.

The dead cap charge of 600,000 is certainly worth the hit, to save money and allow the team to move in another direction. The Falcons should certainly do so.


When Dan Quinn was hired as the Atlanta Falcons Head coach, he inherited starting cornerbacks Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle and his defenses have always been predicated on having bigger cornerbacks, that excel at press coverage.

The Falcons’ cornerbacks Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant stand a 5’10 respectively. Neither have the ideal length for a pressing defense.

The Seahawks start cornerback Trae Flowers who stands at 6’3 and Shaquille Griffin who is listed as 6’0″ tall. During Seattle’s best seasons, 6’3 Richard Sherman, 6’1 Byron Maxwell, and 6’0 Jeremy Lane were the primary starting outside cornerbacks. In fact I don’t recall Seattle ever starting a cornerback outside under six feet tall.

The aforementioned corners all excelled in press coverage. That’s something Robert Alford does not do very well. In Dan Quinn’s single high safety scheme, it is extremely important that at least one cornerback be able press and still run with his man. The single safety can only help to one side of the field.

Jalen Collins who is listed at 6’1, was the first attempt by the Falcons to get a cornerback with the length to fit Dan Quinn’s style. Unfortunately for the team, he didn’t pan out. He showed flashes of talent, but failed multiple drug tests for performance enhancing drugs, leading to suspensions and ultimately his release.

As it stands  Alford would be better suited as a slot cornerback in this scheme, however I just can’t justify paying nine million dollars a year for a third cornerback.