This time around on the Cardinals roster review, we’ll take a look at defensive backs. Arizona has a couple of stars in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu but how does the rest of the defensive backfield look after them. Let’s start with who will be under contract in 2014.
Patrick Peterson $5,863,962
Jerraud Powers $4 million
Justin Bethel $598,556
Rashad Johnson $2.133 million
Tyrann Mathieu $713,281
Curtis Taylor $645,000
Tony Jefferson $498,366
Notice that between the cornerbacks and safeties that there are only seven players under contract. Mathieu tore his knee up in the last month of the season so his prognosis for training camp is up in the air. Bethel made the Pro Bowl as specialist this season which shows how much of a steal he was in the sixth round in 2012.
Peterson is wanting to renegotiate his deal. He fired his agent a couple months ago. Peterson might try to become the highest paid defensive player in the league. Combine that with the high cap hit of Larry Fitzgerald on offense. If both have deals with huge cap numbers it could be financial Armageddon for the franchise.
Antoine Cason is a free agent as are Javier Arenas and Yeremiah Bell. The Cardinals need to have some depth at cornerback and safety. That costs money that is in short supply for the team.
The team needs to find a solid, affordable starter opposite Peterson and, dare I say it, maybe two of them if Peterson considers holding out over wanting a new deal. There’s nothing in the press to suggest it but it could happen, you never know for sure. Tennessee running back Chris Johnson held out despite having a couple more years left on his deal and wound up getting $30 million in guaranteed money. And there’s the cost of being fined $30,000 a day for holding out under the current collective bargaining agreement too.
Don’t get any ideas, Patrick.
We’ll take a look at the special teams scenarios tomorrow to close out this part of the series.
How much time is left on Peterson’s contract? Find out here.