The Arizona Cardinals defensive unit could benefit from acquiring some experience at the safety position for the 2020 campaign
The Arizona Cardinals front office has received high grades for what they’ve accomplished this offseason. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph‘s group, in particular, was in need of some reinforcements. But while several areas of the unit have been addressed by Arizona’s management team, there’s still one position that could still use a bit of help.
As it stands now, the Cards are extremely young at the safety spot. Pro Bowler Budda Baker is 24 years old, fellow starter Jalen Thompson is a mere 21 and Deionte Thompson is just 23. The oldest of the bunch is Chris Banjo, but the 30-year old is utilized mostly on special teams by the Cardinals.
Fortunately for Arizona, there are several safeties on the free agent market who are vastly experienced. If general manager Steve Keim wants to acquire some insurance, there are a handful of defenders still looking for work who could certainly fill that role for the club.
One name that jumps off of the list is a familiar one for both the Cards and their fans. Tony Jefferson spent his first four professional campaigns in the desert, before leaving for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. If the 28-year old can prove that he’s healthy (Jefferson suffered a torn ACL last October), it may be a smart move by the Cardinals to consider a reunion with their former employee.
There’s another safety who has played with Arizona (2017-18) who would also be a fine addition. Antoine Bethea totaled 110 tackles and six pass breakups in 16 starts for the New York Giants last fall. The 35-year old would be an excellent mentor for the Cards youthful defensive backs.
Tavon Wilson, a 30-year old who has been with the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions, would also make some sense for the Cardinals. In 110 career appearances (43 starts), the 6’0, 208 pounder has racked up 357 tackles, eight interceptions and 19 passes defensed. Wilson was a second-round draft pick of the Patriots back in 2012.
One last safety who would be worth Arizona’s consideration is 31-year old Kurt Coleman. The former seventh-round selection of the Philadelphia Eagles has suited up for five different NFL franchises since he entered the league back in 2010. Coleman has registered 554 tackles, 21 picks and 36 pass breakups in 146 games as a pro.