Salary cap savings: $4,750,000
Dead cap: $2,159,168
Bethea has been an excellent addition for the Cardinals after signing in 2017, but his future in the desert is in doubt due to a multitude of reasons. Chiefly, new Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph noted that standout defensive back Budda Baker will be moving to Bethea’s position full time for the 2019 season alongside D.J. Swearinger.
At 34-years-old, Bethea might still have some gas left in the tank; after all, he played 99.6% of the eligible snaps in 2018. However, the Cardinals aren’t in a position to retain a soon to be 35-year-old safety considering their want to develop a younger duo in Baker and Swearinger. In 2018, Bethea also regressed in the box score as he posted near career lows across the board.
Releasing the seasoned safety could be beneficial for both sides. Not only would the Cardinals clear up nearly $5M in cap space, per Over The Cap, but it would also give Bethea a chance to sign with a 2019 contender to pursue a second Super Bowl ring. Simply put, the two are not on the same competitive timeline.