Antoine Bethea Signs With Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals addressed the safety position with Antoine Bethea
The Arizona Cardinals were set to lose several members of the defense this off-season, and in particular, the secondary. Both Tony Jefferson and DJ Swearinger are set to be free agents, leaving the team with a need a safety. They addressed that, in part, today with Antoine Bethea.
Per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Bethea has signed with the Cardinals on a three-year contract. As Somers notes, he’ll take over for Tony Jefferson at safety.
Bethea was drafted in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2006. He spent eight seasons in Indy, including 2012, when current Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was there. His last three seasons were spent with the San Francisco 49ers. It was there that he made his one and only Pro Bowl trip, in 2014.
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In 2016, Bethea led the 49ers in tackles, with 110. He’s soon to be 33 years old, and doesn’t have the speed he once did, so he’s really just an in-the-box safety, but he’s really effective at that. He does have 19 career interceptions, but has only totaled one in the past two seasons.
The terms of the deal are unknown at this time. His contract with the 49ers was for four years, but he was released by them with a year remaining. He was set to make just over $5 million this season.
There will be more moves to come, especially with Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson already gone. Adding Bethea isn’t a long-term answer at safety, but with other spots to fill, adding a veteran who has shown he is still capable is a good move. Jefferson was a terrific player in Arizona, but Bethea is going to attempt to fill his shoes.