The Arizona Cardinals drafted a pair of cornerbacks in April with the goal of shoring up the unit's depth heading into the 2016 season.
Still, with many of the Cardinals' defensive backs unproven in the professional ranks, general manager Steve Keim turned to eight-year NFL veteran Mike Jenkins to give Arizona a more seasoned option. The Cardinals officially announced the signing of Jenkins on Tuesday morning.
Jenkins has made 68 starts during his career and spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The South Florida product was the first round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, and eight of his 10 career interceptions came during the five seasons he spent with Dallas.
Jenkins' best season came in 2009, when he notched five interceptions and secured his first and only Pro Bowl invitation.
In order to make room for Jenkins, the Cardinals released cornerback Carrington Byndom.
After losing starter Jerraud Powers to free agency this offseason, the Cardinals announced their plans to move forward with Justin Bethel in hopes Bethel could take over in Powers' place. Arizona also selected cornerback Brandon Williams out of Texas A&M in the third round of the NFL draft as well as cornerback Harlan Miller out of Southeastern Louisiana in the sixth round.
Returning starter Patrick Peterson is the Cardinals' top cornerback on the roster, and aside from the players mentioned above, Arizona also has a pair of five-year veterans in Asa Jackson and Shaun Prater as well as second-year corner Cariel Brooks on the team's 90-man roster. Undrafted rookie free agents Elie Bouka, Trevon Hartfield and Ronald Zamort are among the corners Arizona brought in to compete for a roster spot this offseason.
It's unlikely the Cardinals will keep more than nine defensive backs, including safeties, on the final 53-man roster, but with the addition of Jenkins, Arizona has a strong mix of veterans and youth that should make the competition in the secondary one of the most intense in fall camp.null