Arizona Cardinal fans might not recognize their secondary when it hits the field. Patrick Peterson is the only familiar face returning who has significant NFL playing experience. Gone are William Gay and Greg Toler. In are Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason and Javier Arenas.
The secondary arguably has more experience now than last year. Powers is the only long-term signee of the crop inking a three-year deal worth up to 10.5 million dollars. 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.
Arenas came to the Cardinals via a trade in April. I cannot complain about the move. The Cardinals moved a fullback who probably would have been released for a cornerback who will receive significant playing time. Arenas already has the pedigree coming from Alabama and being reunited with his former backfield mate, Rashad Johnson, could jump start him here in the desert.
Cason is an interesting signing. Coming back to the desert on only a one-year deal should also light a fire under him to prove he belongs and try again to cash in next offseason. Cason is a bigger corner who plays physical.
It always worries me when the town someone leaves says “you can have him,” but I just always seem to remember him on the field being involved in plays. So at a minimum, he should be durable. My memory was right as he has not missed a game in his five-year career, and he averages just over two interceptions a year. Not a bad signing for the Cardinals to get this durable 26 year-old on a one-year deal.
I envision a little of Tyrann Mathieu (when not at safety) and Jamell Fleming mixed in, but no doubt, the main players will Peterson, Powers, Arenas and Cason. The difference with this crop than in prior years will be size and play making ability. This could be the most complete group of Cardinal cornerbacks we have seen here since I can remember.