There was a lot of speculation about the future of cornerback Jerraud Powers, especially after the Cardinals were in the process of wooing and then signing Antonio Cromartie to start alongside Patrick Peterson. But Powers wasn’t going anywhere, in large part because the injury of Tyrann Mathieu makes him an early-season question mark. There are other reasons, though, including a trust factor with the coaching staff. And then there is the profootballfocus.com analysis that put Powers — despite far fewer snaps in the slot — as the most effective slot cover man in the league last year in terms of allowing receptions. Powers is in line, with Mathieu on the sideline, to be the slot corner alongside Peterson and Cromartie.
Powers did not have a fantastic season as Peterson’s fellow starting corner last year but he wasn’t bad either. He was exactly what the Cardinals expected from a veteran who didn’t break the bank. A healthy Cromartie would be an upgrade, but having Powers in reserve is smart. He was, after all, a starter for the sixth-ranked defense in the league. Finding a stud companion to Peterson long-term would be lovely but frankly, somewhat unrealistic. At some point sooner rather than later, Peterson is going to get a very, very large contract extension. Spending big money on both cornerback spots is difficult if not impossible for any team given the realities of the salary cap. The Cards could find a young guy in the draft who turns out to be very good and that might buy you a few years, but it also means forgoing a solid player at another position that might prove more necessary.
The saying goes that you can never have enough corners, and that generally is true. But after the Cromartie signing, the Cards are in pretty good shape, because Powers fits what they need.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers, Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu
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