The Cardinals are losing a safety in Tony Jefferson, but are filling that hole quickly.
Safety Antoine Bethea, released by San Francisco earlier this week, agreed to a three-year contract with the Cards Thursday in the hours before free agency officially began. Because Bethea had been cut, he was free to sign elsewhere immediately.
“With the new regime (in San Francisco), sitting down with them and seeing the direction they wanted to
“Knowing what type of organization (the Cardinals are) and football team, the type of players they have, and of course being familiar with a number of coaches on the staff, seemed like it was a good fit for me.”
Jefferson left to sign with Baltimore.
It was only the start of free agency for the Cardinals, who also re-signed center
The 32-year-old Bethea, played the last three seasons with the 49ers after eight years with the Colts, was in Indianapolis with current Cardinals coaches Bruce Arians, Harold Goodwin and James Bettcher – the latter of which will be Bethea’s new defensive coordinator. He will turn 33 in July.
Bettcher said Bethea is a good player, but emphasized he is also a good person and a leader. The locker
Bethea led the 49ers in tackles last season and had an interception. He has 19 interceptions in 162 career games.
“At this point in my career, I just want to win, get another ring,” Bethea said. “I still got some good ball left in me.”
At strong safety, he’ll be an option as the Cardinals try to figure out their backend in the wake of free agency. Not only did Jefferson leave but fellow safety D.J. Swearinger is heading to Washington, posting on social media he wanted to "thank the Cardinals for all the memories and opportunities."
The team still has
Bethea wasn’t declaring himself a starter, saying he would come in to “play my part.”
The Cardinals’ defense is not only losing Jefferson but also starting defensive tackle Calais Campbell, who was to sign with the Jaguars.