The Cardinals continued their roster changes Friday when they released veteran safety Antoine Bethea and backup quarterback Mike Glennon.
Bethea made the greater impact in his time with the Cardinals, but Glennon’s release is more intriguing as the Cardinals figure to find a backup who might make more sense in new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s system.
Bethea started all 16 games in 2018 and posted a team-best 133 tackles, but with the unexpected acquisition of D.J. Swearinger at the end of the season off waivers and the decision to move Budda Baker back to a full-time safety role, Bethea ended up as the odd man out.
In two appearances, Glennon completed 15-of-21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown.
A report came out earlier Friday the Cardinals expected to make a trade for Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert.
Bethea, who turns 35 in July, had one year left on the three-year deal he signed in 2017. He was scheduled to make $3 million in salary along with a $1 million roster bonus this year.
Bethea, who notched a career-best five interceptions in 2017, also had three sacks last season. He was named co-winner of the team’s Steve Schoenfeld “Good Guy” award (with defensive tackle Corey Peters) for his work with the media.
Bethea’s release will save $4.75 million on the cap, according to overthecap.com, and create about $2.1 million in dead money. Glennon was scheduled to make $2.5 million in salary and will have $3 million in dead money.
The Bethea move leaves only one safety – Rudy Ford – on the roster under contract for next season aside from Swearinger and Baker.
Free agency begins March 13, with legal tampering allowed March 11. The safety market will be flooded with a number of high-profile names, including Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, Kenny Vaccaro, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eric Weddle and Earl Thomas. The Cardinals also have their own free agent safety, Tre Boston, who is expected to hit the market.
Among the thin free-agent QB class are Tyrod Taylor, Brett Hundley and Josh McCown, although the Cardinals still have Charles Kanoff on the roster behind Josh Rosen.