Bethel up, as the Cro flies

Posted by Darren Urban on March 12, 2015 – 12:52 pm

The inevitable happened Thursday, with Antonio Cromartie getting the long-term (four years) and hefty ($32 million, at least at its max, reportedly) contract he sought and right where he wanted to be — back with the Jets, back with Todd Bowles and Darrelle Revis, and back where he has his home. The Cardinals knew for a long time Cromartie was a likely one-and-done, like Karlos Dansby before him.

There is a reason Bruce Arians often talks about Justin Bethel’s potential as a cornerback, and now here we are, with — at least as of today — Bethel seems the choice to step in across from Patrick Peterson. That’s assuming Jerraud Powers remains the slot cover man, where he is most effective. Even Bethel reacted to the Cromartie departure news in a similar vein:

Bruce Arians has never been shy about praising Bethel’s potential as a cornerback. Last offseason, he said he thought Bethel could end up being better than Peterson and multiple times during the season said Bethel might be starting if he were on another team and not stuck on a depth chart populated with Peterson, Cromartie and Powers.

“Oh, he’s moved up the depth chart in my mind,” Arians said in mid-December. “He’s a starter. He has potential to be a starter in the league. I’m very excited about his future.”

As usual, there are moving pieces to all of this. Powers — who is going into the last year of his contract — could be in the mix to return to the starting spot he had with Peterson before Cromartie arrived. That possibility could increase if the Cardinals decide to use Tyrann Mathieu in the slot, like he was used in his rookie season before tearing his ACL.

(Quote to note on Powers from Arians: “I don’t think anybody played any better than Jerraud Powers last year. He was probably our best guy.”)

The Cardinals probably need to add a cornerback at some point, either by free agency or the draft, for depth. But the secondary still has a lot of good remaining, with four safeties that can play (Mathieu with Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson and Deone Bucannon) and the ability the mix-and-match.

Still, this seems to be Bethel’s chance to emerge beyond being a Pro Bowl special teamer.

Kenny Britt, Justin Bethel

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Posted in Blog | 32 Comments »

32 Responses to “Bethel up, as the Cro flies”

  1. By D on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Deepest part of the team…plus Honey badger can play some CB…probably draft a CB in case this is Power’s last year.. .

    Thanks Lyle for your career here he should be proud of it.

    Darren–does this mean Larry is the only player left from the SB team?

  2. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Super Bowl

    Campbell was a rookie.

  3. By Whitey on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    The Cards have done an amazing job thus far of filling needs and adding depth. The last piece of the puzzle is Orakpo. If they can get him to make a visit they’ll definitely sign him. The ability of Keim and Arians as recruiters cannot be underestimated. It seems like they rarely miss out on a guy they really want.

  4. By LadyBird04 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Hopefully with a stronger o-line and the new linebackers added to the lineup, it will be the perfect time for Bethel to get a chance to play opposite PP2. Would have liked to see Cro back but we all knew he wasn’t going to stay….he’s a “Jersey boy” and his family wanted to go back there.

    Heard the Cards released Sendlein – good luck to him as he has been a steady center playing on a dysfunctional o-line until last year when we got Veldeer.

  5. By Kurt on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Congratulations to Cromartie, thanks for the memories he proved a consummate professional.

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Cro will be missed but its time to let the young birds spread their wings! Next Man up!
    Its your time JB!

    Love the fact we are very active in Free Agency, I remember years past we didnt go after anyone, in fact maybe 1 or 2 signings at the most. Love the new Cards!!! Were at the doorstep , lets kick the door in this year!!!

    Now lets get a solid RB to help Ellington and a dynamic KR/PR and a couple of more pass rushers!!!

    GO CARDS!!

  7. By tkm on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    –i want to thank lyle for his years being a cardinal.he was undersized but did a great job of staying healthy and being dependable.maybe not the best but full respect for him.wish him the best,once again thanks for your years of service with fan since 1965

  8. By Kyle on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Lyle for all the great memories, you were always a guy I praised when I would talk cardinals with my buddies. I understand this is a business and sometimes cuts like this have to be made but I feel that you were one of the few left that helped build us to where we are now, wish you could be on this journey with is to try and win a Super Bowl this year because you deserved it. You will be missed and never forgotten.

  9. By D on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Too bad the Saints don’t have better talent with their current yard sale…I don’t see a pass rusher on that team..

  10. By James J on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Cro was solid CB, in fact, I think better than PP. That said, I can;t wait to see Bethel step up and become a premier CB! I agree if BA, he’s got talent!

    Now, where’re that RB we’re missing? Disappointed Cards did not go after DM. Who else is left beyond AP?

  11. By rio on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    SENDLEIN had to go , he could not run block at all. HE is a real man and a great guy, but it show last year we could never pickup a yard up the middle.

    Great release Doctor Keim.

  12. By azirish16 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Would there be any interest in Trent Richardson since he just got cut. Bring him in on a “prove yourself” contract, I think he’d be a good addition.

  13. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    azirish —

    RE: Richardson

    Don’t know. I wouldn’t do it, given his short and poor history.

  14. By georgiebird on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    I would have been disappointed if Cro stayed and Bethel spent another year as a backup. It’s time for Bethel to step up and be a good cb.
    Once again, the right way is to get a talented young guy to replace a talented old guy (and a lot more cost effective).
    Last year we saw this natural maturation process when Cat replaced Feely.
    We haven’t seen the natural process unfold at LB- thus the influx of older guys with their best years possibly behind them.

  15. By Jon on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    All this talk about how goid and deep the defensive backfield remains after Cro has left is confusing when comparing hype with reality. Did anyone in NFL land think the Cards had a shutdown pass defense last season? What about the huge and repeated failures to cover tight ends who oftened gashed and scored on the Cards defensive backfield?

    It would be a very pleasant surprise if Bethel develops into the best DB on the team and it certainly is possible with PP’s health and uneven play (plays well agains back-ups and no name QBs while being dominated by the better QBs in the NFL.

    And since DBs defense as a unit, no amount of focusing on subjective assessments of the Cards having lots of DB talent can be taken suriously until they end up performing as one of the top 1-6 defenses against the pass.

    Until then, its all hype, smoke and mirrors to talk up how talented the Cards are in their defensive DBs.

  16. By krehbieo14 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Justin Bethel has already won many games for the Cards with his special teams play. This was one of the best moves that Graves and Wiz accomplished with the draft. Like John Brown, he came out of the Division II school, Presbyterian. He’s intelligent and athletic and will showcase his talents this year!

  17. By Coach K on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Love Bethel’s tweet. He’s probably pound for pound the best pure athlete on the team.

  18. By Trent C on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    What happens when AP shows up and wants his number??

  19. By theuglitruth on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Powers has a high cap number…things could get interesting!

  20. By Marlin on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    We’ll draft a CB first round. Bethel is a question mark, Powers is somewhat small and is in the last year of his contract.

  21. By Dr. G. on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Bethel’s “genuine” confidence is admirable. He is the best athlete on the team…not debatable. When he gets his sea-legs as a corner, watch out. He has the ability to put up some points too if he grabs an INT.

    Now, with PP’s erratic performance, BA can put JB on the best WRs and leave others to PP ((the Safety))… JB has always been bold to TACKLE, which is one of PP’s fears. Contact is not one of PP’s strong suits. His style is to go for the ball and shove people.

    I see the Pro-Bowl in the near future for JB as a Corner. Gonna leave a big hole ((opportunity)) for someone on Special Teams…. GO JB….

  22. By Dr. G. on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    On continuing rumors/prospects of Adrian Peterson…

    I’m thinking Patrick Peterson would look stylish in the Vikings uniform..!

    Cap issues relieved….. Some of us entertain reverie, though a bit unreal…

    Disclaimer. . . this post for entertainment purposes…enjoy at your own risk…

  23. By shooter28 on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    By Dr. G. on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    On continuing rumors/prospects of Adrian Peterson…

    I’m thinking Patrick Peterson would look stylish in the Vikings uniform..!

    Cap issues relieved….. Some of us entertain reverie, though a bit unreal…

    Disclaimer. . . this post for entertainment purposes…enjoy at your own risk

    Well considering Peterson is just 23 years old , has well over 10+ years of football in him , is a elite All-Pro 4X Pro Bowler, which sets/ties a NFL Record as Peterson has made 4 Pro Bowls ( and 2X All-Pro nods) before his 25th birthday , something only a hand full of players ever have done ( Deion never did It , Sherm never did it ) which automatically puts Peterson in a small fraternity of elite players who have done it. So being that Peterson is already All Pro yet hast scratched the service as to how good he can be, is an elite CB whos arguably the best in the NFL, Has 10+ years of ball left , well think about it if you give us Peterson , this years 1st round pick , this years 3rd n 4th round pick, and next rears 1st and 4th round pick .

    The Rumors about AP aren’t rumors , he wants to come to the Cardinals . He has ruined his image up there in lots of peoples eyes, he is 30 years old with a mammoth contract ( Which he should he would rework for AZ if they trade for him. Ian Rappoport n Albert Breer have reported their “sources” tell them Peterson could be had for a package of a couple mid round draft picks.

    We have some extra picks this year , Keim needs to get them to take a 4th & 6th round pick this year & extra 5th rd pick next year.

    AP isn’t worth as much as you think because his age , the negative media that follows him , and the massive contract that tags right on along w/ him. Lo+ok at Brandon Marshall dude is one of the best WRs in the NFL but they got only a 5th because he is owed 10+ million a year 4 the next 4 years.

  24. By clssylssy on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Bethel was great on Special Teams but I don’t believe he’s going to be any kind of “shutdown corner”. By doing all this reallocation of our troops, our defense just got weaker. A lot of fans have been critical of Cro for not tackling and can’t stop bashing PP. If we are really going to be a force in the NFC (looking less likely with the Saints and Eagles loading up) we should have gone after Brandon Browner. I like Justin Bethel but he’s just not physical enough because of his small size and the more players we have to depend on picking up in the draft (a crap shoot at best) the farther behind we’re going to be on the learning curve. With our schedule 8-8 will be a miracle. Usually the best thing is not to mess with what works, not completely possible in the NFL but at least try to keep the changes at a minimum…this has been part of the Seahawks’s success!

  25. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Dang it….oh well, it was sure was nice having Cromartie here, even if only for one season. These one year deals…..they may get the job done at the time but when any player comes in and plays as well as Cro did last year / Dansby the year before…..seems a done deal that one year is all we’re gonna get!

    Moving on….I LOVE the tone of Bethel’s tweet. It’s next-man-up time again, so…..go get it, kid! All yours now.

    Seems like losing Bowles was a double whammy. Maybe Cro was gonna go regardless. But when Bowles went to NY….I think Cro started feeling that New York state of mind, and started humming the tune to Sinatra’s “New York, New York!”

    Picture Cro singing “Start speadin, the news…..”

  26. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    I would have LOVED to have seen Browner as a Cardinal. THAT would have been an addition to the secondary that we KNOW would have off-set the loss of Cromartie, maybe even more so.

    If your general opinion is that with all the comings and goings, our defense has not improved to the extent that Seattle’s offense has improved with Lynch staying and Jimmy Graham coming on board….then I have to agree with that, too. That one-two punch by the Seahawks has ( for me ) kinda taken some of the wind out of my sails. I just see the Seahawks offense tearing up our defense again. Hate to say it, but…I do. Our defense has been getting torched by opposing TE’s for the past several years. And the best team in the division ( probably the conference ) just went out and got THE best TE in the business. My lord, the TE’s they had last season ( hardly household names, ya know? ) tore us up! And now JIMMY GRAHAM??? With a QB as smart and atheletic as Russell Wilson??? And with Marshawn Lynch still there driving the offense???

    REALLY hate to say it, but I do not see where our defense has kept pace. I am hoping that everyone stays healthy ( a lot to ask ) and that I see something I am not seeing right now when everyone takes the field.

    And, granted, FA is not over and the draft is yet to come. so….I don’t mean to come off as sounding like the angel of death.

  27. By Chuck 1 on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply


    The sky is falling!!!

  28. By krehbieo14 on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    How about some optimism. Arians obviously feels that way. He has bolstered the defensive line with veterans Peters, Redding, and Woodley to add to our already stout front. He added Weatherspoon and possibly Irving to our linebacking corp with the return of DWash. Keim and Arians were looking for more speed and physicality on both sides and got it. Press coverage from our corners won’t be as essential due to better pass rushing/ penetration and linebacker speed. Bethel will do well.

    Yes, Seattle added Graham as another impact player. We should counter by getting our offense moving to a new level of performance. I believe that we will make a play for AP and have most of the leverage if a trade evolves. Sometimes you have to roll the dice to get to that next level. I’m all in on it. Go Cards!

  29. By brinnc on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    DR G
    Your two posts above concerning PP were two of the best ever posts on this board that I’ve ever read (my posts included! LOL!) Sometimes the PP truth hurts!! Trading the Petersons (good sitcom title right there!) PP for AP makes perfect sense money wise anyway, I might even come over to the AP a Cardinal side of the fence. BA has stated that Cardinals needed to get younger and faster, which drafting a RB (in a pretty deep RB class) would give us the “complimentary RB” that Arians is looking for to compliment Ellington, as well we get at least 5 years with a much smaller cap hit while the rookie contract is in effect. Would however pretty much force us to draft CB and CB as 2 and 2A (yes I would still trade out of 1st, we would need the extra picks now more than ever!! (If we
    traded PP for AP.

    What gives my man? Dont think I have ever seen you post a negative post about the Cardinals. Do you really believe 8-8 record is feasible? This is one time when I can truly say, I hope you are wrong, wrong, wrong!!! LOL!

    Random thought (without Jack Handy) – Seattle pulling a coup and somehow getting Jimmy Graham is a huge blow to the Cardinals, and every other team in the NFC!! I still dont see where all this cap space is coming from, or how they are going to pay R. Wilson, very soon!! I would like to point out that Seattle lacks depth, next man up doesnt apply to Seattle, remember last season when they had a couple of injuries, that had them miss a few games, and during that stretch, their record wasnt very good at all, the Seahawks have nowhere near the depth that the Cardinals have. If R. Wilson goes down with an injury for any length of time, they are done!! Or what about Lynch and Wilson both injured, done! Another injury combination they cant survive, Graham and Lynch, again they would be done, that is one weakness the Seahawks have (it was exposed last season)
    As far as Brandon Browner goes, it may have been a fluke (like most Cardinal fans are hopeful that is what PP had last season, a fluke, a down year…) but Browner didnt have a very good season at all last year, I dont think it was a fluke, I think Seattle’s secondary covered
    for Browner and made him look better than he is, I for one am happy
    the Cardinals didnt sign him

    Ok, enough for one night (actually after 4am here on the east coast, I
    was planning to respond to some very interesting/intriguing posts, but my mind is fried, will post later (much later) today, it is time to get some good football discussion going!! Remember ladies and gentlemen, even though we dont always agree

  30. By brinnc on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Dang!! I just dozed off while typing to wake up and see I had hit “post utton”
    Getting older sure sucks! LOL!


    Remember ladies and gentlemen even though we dont always agree we ca have some good heated, intelligent, but civil debates, afterall when all is said and done we are all obsessed, and borderline Psycho Cardinal fanatics!!! BIRDGANG FOR LIFE!!

  31. By Dr. G. on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    shooter28 – – You need to consult a good psychiatrist with these delusional opinions on your posting of your trade commodities. I do like the idea that you think Patrick Peterson is all Pro for 10+ years, though. Let’s do a deal right now, straight across…for AP…. You get the Jester and we get a Real Pro who hates your mgmt… AP would thrive here for a few years… If your mgmt refuses to move him, he will run his heart out for you, I’m sure….pa..sha…!

  32. By Dr. G. on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    Shooter28- – Addendum – – To refute your comment that AP is not worth as much as I think he is::: Here is what I posted earlier…. 3 years//25Million//16Guaranteed… That is fair and takes into consideration his age and probable playing time remaining…. Adrian is done with the Vikings…one way or another…. Back to you…. No more delusional stuff please….Thx….

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