As good as the Cardinals defense was in 2021, cornerback was an issue. Per PFF, the highest-graded CB for Arizona this year was Robert Alford at number 38. Of any corner that played 600 snaps or more (Reed played 1000 snaps) for the Cardinals, Byron Murphy was the highest-ranked at number 85. For a team that finished 10th in the NFL in points allowed the bad CB play was almost shocking.
Seeing Reed go to a fellow NFC West team would not be fun but Reed has already been part of the 49ers organization so he wouldn’t be adverse, I assume, to going to yet another division team. Arizona made the playoffs this season, of course, and could do it again in 2022 but one thing they need is to fix the secondary.
One thing that makes Reed so good is his versatility. He can play nickel but he has proved he can hold down the right side of the field at outside corner. That flexibility is just another reason he is going to get paid a lot this offseason. Arizona doesn’t just need one good corner at one spot. Adding Reed would upgrade any corner spot that Cardinals have. Knowing that, Arizona might be willing to offer Reed a bit more than other teams.
The Cardinals were 19th in QBR-allowed in 2021. Reed could help them get back inside the top 15. Arizona has a solid pass rush already (even if Chandler Jones leaves in free agency) so improving the pass defense just a little makes the Cardinals a more dangerous team.