After five years in Indianapolis, Jerraud Powers inked a 3-year deal worth up to $10.5 million dollars with the Arizona Cardinals on March 13, 2013. He is one of only a few free agents who the Cardinals signed to a multi-year deal. With that said, Powers should be looked at as a long-term solution to the CB position opposite of Patrick Peterson. He is currently the top choice to start across from Peterson and OTAs have solidified that notion thus far.
Powers is only 25 years old and a former third-round pick out of Auburn in 2009. The knock on him has been durability. It seems as though he is consistently ending up in the injured reserved. At only 5’10” 190 lbs he plays physical subjecting his body to regular abuse.
Powers adds to the slew of newly-acquired depth at the cornerback position, a position the Cardinals have not been particularly solid at recently outside of Peterson. Cardinal fans have seen a merry-go-round of CBs come through their doors to be welcomed with optimism, only to watch them exit relatively soon thereafter. Bryant McFadden, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Greg Toler come to mind instantly. The issues remained and always seemed to be one thing after another, injuries, penalties or a simple lack of desire to be great.
Now, a revamped secondary consists of cornerbacks Peterson, Powers, Antoine Cason (free agent) and Javier Arenas (acquire via trade). Those players have combined for around 135 starts in the NFL, and the Cardinals also have second-year players Jamell Fleming and Justin Bethel.
In four years at Indy, Powers started all 42 games he played in. However, Powers has never made it past Week 13 and is averaging just over 10 games a year (out of 16 regular season games). That is not going to bode well long-term if he cannot stay healthy in the desert. The Cardinals are going to need Powers in particular to stay healthy and remain physical if they have any hope of being competitive in the very physical NFC West. The secondary would certainly be better if Cason and Arenas are able to float around in nickel packages.
Unlike other moves, I think this was a bold signing by the Cardinals giving a 3-year deal to a guy who has not shown the ability the stay healthy. Arians’ familiarity with Powers in Indy I am sure played a role. I grade this signing as a solid B for year one, but the grade for the future could go up if Powers can stay on the field.