Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward is fresh from completing a one-year contract with the team and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. A number of NFL teams are in search of depth at the cornerback position, so the 25-year-old would be an intriguing option for most of them.
In 13 games played, Ward notched 67 combined tackles, 10 passes defended, and a couple of interceptions in 2021. Admittedly, the former undrafted player still needs to work on his consistency, though he has shown that he can step up and contribute when needed. Aside from Ward, the Chiefs also have a handful of pending free agents led by Tyrann Mathieu and Orlando Brown Jr., among others. It might be a challenge for Kansas City to retain all of them, which could prompt the cornerback to explore his options for next season instead.
With that said, let’s take a look at the three best landing spots for Charvarius Ward in the upcoming 2022 NFL free agency period.
Charvarius Ward Free Agency Landing Spots
Prior to the 2021 season, the Vikings traded away former first-round selection Mike Hughes along with a draft asset in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. After his departure, the Vikings really didn’t have any standout at the cornerback position for the 2021 season.
With such a huge hole in the group, they could opt to make a run at Ward’s services to be a top cornerback, given that he can stay healthy next season. Additionally, his arrival would also be a breath of fresh air for the defensive unit as they get set to play under newly hired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.
It might be a bit of a challenge for the Vikings to acquire Ward now that they are still $14.7 million over the cap for 2022, per Spotrac. However, successfully landing him in the offseason would definitely give the cornerback position a much-needed lift moving forward.
2. Arizona Cardinals
Another team that has to solve the dynamics of its secondary rotation would be the Arizona Cardinals. Their CBs got exposed and failed to perform in their Wild Card Round tilt against the Los Angeles Rams, which led them to absorb a 34-11 beating.
After seeing the unfortunate outcome, it became more necessary for the front office to address the depth in the group in order to have better defensive performances moving forward. Currently, veteran cornerback Robert Alford is already 33 years old and has sustained several injuries, which limited him to play in 13 games. He is also set to become an unrestricted free agent and has no certainty of being brought back for 2022.
Enter Charvarius Ward, who could play on the outside opposite Marco Wilson along with slot cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. This would help them have a formidable defensive rotation against the opposing wide receivers on the field.
As of the moment, the Cardinals only have $2 million available in cap space, though restructuring some contracts would help them gain more flexibility to acquire reinforcements like Ward. If they acquire his services, fans can expect the secondary to put up a better stand against the passing game of their opponents in 2022.
Perhaps the best landing spot for Charvarius Ward in free agency would be the Cincinnati Bengals, who recently concluded a Cinderella run to Super Bowl 56. Aside from the issues of their offensive line, the team also needs to fill the gaps in their cornerback unit, which struggled against the pass in 2021.
Currently, they are set to potentially lose almost all of their CBs in Eli Apple, Vernon Hargreaves, Tre Flowers, Darius Phillips, and Jalen Davis to free agency. They can retain most of them if they want to, given that they have around $48 million in cap space available for 2022.
However, it would be logical for the Bengals to acquire a relatively young talent like Charvarius Ward in order to rejuvenate the group moving forward. Once they solve their cornerback holes, the team would be in a better position to have another solid run next season.