2010 NFL Free Agency: Yes, the Arizona Cardinals Have a Plan
Have you caught your breath yet?
Every time you turn around (cue Daughtry), the Cardinals have done something else in free agency. This time, they went out and immediately found Antrel Rolle's replacement: Kerry Rhodes.
For those who don't know much about Rhodes, he was the New York Jets safety that finished last year with three picks and a career-high 13 passes defensed. Unfortunately, he also was benched during the season.
But don't panic.
For those of you tired of panicking at the busy offseason for Arizona, just stop where you are. Breathe.
If not, let me assure you again: the Cardinals have a plan. Otherwise they wouldn't have signed Rhodes, who at first glance may not be what the Cards need. But calm down and go through the facts.
Rhodes had a very solid career going until the Jets brought in a new coach. Sometimes it takes a while for players to adjust to a new defensive system.
Rhodes was out on "safety island" in Rex Ryan's system, as the other starting safety was brought from Baltimore (Jim Leonhard) and was familiar with Ryan's schemes. Rhodes wasn't, and he didn't play well through the first several games. As a result, he was benched.
After the benching, though, he responded well, snaring three picks to end the season. And as I mentioned earlier, he finished with a career-high 13 passes defensed. (To compare, Ed Reed only had five last year, with 16 the year before). This means that Rhodes should be fairly reliable in coverage—thus, making him the perfect complement to Wilson.
To compare him with Rolle quickly, Rolle only had eight passes defensed this last year. His coverage skills were often called into question, despite the fact that he was a former cornerback.
So from this front, it looks actually like an upgrade for the Cardinals, who really don't need another athletic guy back there who can return interceptions well. They need someone to actually cover well.
So take a deep breath. There's a lot of negative feelings about the Cardinals right now: everything from "we're going back to the losers of the league" to even the writers on this site, who are saying Rhodes won't stay or the Cardinals continue to make dumb moves. No offense meant to anyone, as we all have our opinions.
My objective is to help Arizona fans back up, not put them back in the hole they just climbed out of the last couple of years.
You have to keep everything in perspective. The moves Arizona has made aren't all bad.
Keep the faith, Arizona fans! The Cardinals—yes, the Cardinals—have a plan.
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