Reliable veterans are so valuable to NFL teams. According to NBC Sports, the Arizona Cardinals are signing Mike Jenkins. The longtime corner back is expected to compete for a starting spot opposite Patrick Peterson, considered by many experts to be one of the top five players at his position.
Mike Jenkins has been in the NFL for eight seasons. It takes a bit of talent to be able to last that long. Last season, Jenkins started five games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team decided to go in a different direction, so the 31-year-old defensive back was forced to find a new home in the National Football League.
There is a bit of competition for the second starting corner back position with the Arizona Cardinals. In addition to Mike Jenkins, the team will also consider Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Harlan Miller, and Cariel Brooks. Regardless of who wins the job, the Cardinals are expected to have quality depth in the secondary.
An opening in the secondary was created when Jerraud Powers decided to walk away from the Arizona Cardinals in free agency to sign with the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year contract, as reported by USA Today. The Ravens have been desperately seeking an upgrade at the corner back position.
Another veteran could be added to the mix soon. There are reports that Chris Culliver is scheduled to meet with the Arizona Cardinals sometime within the next few days. He was a starter for the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, so that experience could come in handy.
Earlier in the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals were in discussions with Leon Hall, who had a good season with the Cincinnati Bengals last year. For whatever reasons, the Cardinals decided against signing Hall, who still has yet to find a new home in the NFL.
One of the reasons why the Arizona Cardinals are so concerned about the secondary is because of the serious torn ACL injury suffered by Tyrann Mathieu. The former LSU Tigers defensive back has grown to become the biggest star for the Cardinals because of his versatility and talent.
Fortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, they do not need to rush Tyrann Mathieu back from his ACL injury. There is depth at the safety positions. Tony Jefferson is expected to be the other starter, while Tyvon Branch is capable of starting in place of Mathieu.
Of course, the Arizona Cardinals are more of a contender if Tyrann Mathieu is healthy and playing well. The 24-year-old is a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators in the NFL because of his ability to be everywhere on the field. Not only can he cover wide receivers and tight ends, but Mathieu is also capable of stopping the run and rushing the quarterback.
The Arizona Cardinals know that their window of opportunity to win a Super Bowl is closing rapidly. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer is 36 years old. Former franchise player Larry Fitzgerald is 32 years old and has been moved into a secondary role as the slot wide receiver.
In order to do that, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians will need to fill as many of the holes on the roster as possible before the regular season starts. Keim and Arians also need to be prepared for any big injuries that might happen.
Mike Jenkins has a chance to be a part of what the Arizona Cardinals are building and working towards. Since he is closer to the end of his NFL career than the beginning, Jenkins is hoping that he will finally have a chance to walk away from football with a Super Bowl ring.
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