The Arizona Cardinals have some important free agents hitting free agency in a week and a half, and their secondary features some of the notable names. Cornerback Jerraud Powers and safeties Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson are all set to hit the market. The Cardinals have some options waiting in the wings, so it is safe to say some of those guys will not be back in 2016.
General manager Steve Keim met with the media on Wednesday, and discussed Powers and Johnson in particular. He did not say the Cardinals would not re-sign either of them, but his comments hinted that the team was considering some other options moving forward:
"There is a concern from the standpoint where you get to a point with your roster where you get comfortable, but I don't know if it's bad to get out of your comfort zone a little bit and try and get better in certain areas," Keim said. "The things we like about those two players, they are smart, they are instinctive, they are good teammates. But at the same time I have a lot of faith and trust in our scouting department that if we had to replace them we could find guys that are talented players with whom we can improve."
This could just be negotiating a bit through the media, but it certainly does not strike me as a guy overly interested in bringing either player back. We'll find out when free agency opens on March 9.
I don't expect the 49ers to go after a safety like Johnson, but the cornerback decisions will be interesting to track. Powers is not a guy who is going to come in and be a shutdown No. 1 corner, but he is certainly a No. 2 or 3 option. Of course, the 49ers have some young guys that might be able to just as much, depending on how you view them. Over The Cap projected Powers's value at around a 3-year deal worth $12.5M to $15.5 million.
We don't know what the interest is going to be like. He is turning 29 this offseason, and while that is not old, teams might be more inclined to see what the draft can do for them. I don't think the 49ers are going to spend a ton of free agent money on the secondary, but I've been surprised before.