With the Arizona Cardinals releasing starting cornerback William Gay and opting not to bring back Greg Toler because of a past injury, they had a clear need in the secondary. So, they brought in Antoine Cason, who is familiar with the valley (he attended the University of Arizona).
They signed Cason to a one-year, $2 million deal. Cason will come in as the starter across from Patrick Peterson unless he is injured or loses his job in the preseason. After having horrible play from Gay last year, Cason should be a major upgrade. Even though Cason didn’t have his best year last year with San Diego he’s itching at the opportunity to get back up to par with his ability.
Time after time Gay was burned last season, but with Cason’s speed and ball-hawking skills, the Cardinals’ secondary should have even more success than it had last season. With Peterson to his left and him covering the opponent’s top receiver, expect opposing quarterbacks to try and attack Cason often and early in games. The opportunities will be there for Cason; he just has to go out there and make them.
Cason has a total of 12 interceptions in his five-year career coming up with two interceptions in every year except 2010, when he had four. Also he’s not afraid of contact, totaling 62 tackles by himself and combining for another 11 adding up to 73. If the Cardinals are to make a run in 2013 he will be a big part of it. I expect Cason to match his career best in interceptions this year, as he’s looking for a contract extension in hopes of more stability, and maybe a bigger payday if the Cardinals let him walk after this year.
Cason should have the biggest impact of all the free agents. Many will argue that Karlos Dansby will, and I see why they think that. Karlos Dansby will be Karlos Dansby in the first four weeks of the season, but with Daryl Washington coming back, Dansby will either be moved to Washington’s right or to the bench. Washington is too talented not to be a starter, and with Kevin Minter only being a rookie it should be Dansby and Washington starting.
However, Dansby might not see tons of playing time with the depth at middle linebacker. Cason should definitely see the field a lot, as he will be starting. Expect Cason to thrive as a starter in Arizona. Because Cason is in a good situation and isn’t being paid a ton, this signing deserves an A.