The Arizona Cardinals made their second post-preseason acquisition Wednesday as the team added former Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon to the mix in the defensive backfield.
The addition of Simon is the latest attempt for general manager Steve Keim to help shore up the Cardinals' depth in the defensive backfield, which has been a complex issue since late in the 2015 season.
To provide additional context about the Cardinals' cornerback issues, we've created a timeline highlighting exactly how events have unfolded since the latter part of 2015.
Week 7, 2015: Arizona Cardinals' starting cornerback Jerraud Powers exits a contest with a hamstring injury, and is out of the lineup for over a month. Powers' injury forces special teams asset and third cornerback Justin Bethel into the lineup for Arizona, and Bethel finishes the season starting five games, recording nine passes defended, and notching two interceptions.
December 5, 2015: Bethel signs a three-year extension worth $15 million, including $9 million in guaranteed money. Bethel's contract is rich for a special teams asset, which suggests the Cardinals likely view him as a long-term contributor and potential starter at cornerback.
Week 15, 2015: Starting safety Tyrann Mathieu tears his ACL late in an already-decided contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, forcing the Cardinals to completely reshuffle the team's secondary. Mathieu was the heart and soul of Arizona's defense, and his loss forces Powers into the nickel corner role that Mathieu excelled at, while pushing Bethel back into the lineup as an outside cornerback.
January 24, 2016: The Carolina Panthers torch the Cardinals' secondary in the NFC Championship game, as Arizona allows 335 passing yards and two passing touchdowns to league MVP Cam Newton. Coming off of a disappointing performance in which the Cardinals allowed a Hail Mary in the divisional round of the playoffs against Green Bay, Arizona likely makes an internal decision about shaking up the personnel in its defensive backfield.
January 29, 2016: The Cardinals announce the signing of former Baltimore Ravens' cornerback Asa Jackson.
February 1, 2016: The Cardinals announce the signing of former Minnesota Vikings' cornerback Shaun Prater.
April 13, 2016: Powers, a free agent, reportedly meets with Arizona to discuss a potential contract. After spending three season with the Cardinals and emerging from the meeting without an agreement, it appears as though the Cardinals and Powers will part ways.
Mid-April, 2016: Bethel opts to have surgery on his left foot to repair a fracture that he played with during the latter half of the 2015 season. At the time of his surgery, Bethel was scheduled to return in time for training camp.
April 29, 2016: The Cardinals use their second highest pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to select Texas A&M product Brandon Williams in the third round. Williams played cornerback for just one season with the Aggies after transitioning to the role in June, but started for Texas A&M and served as a team captain. Williams was a five-star running back recruit coming out of high school, but never found sustained success at the position at Oklahoma (his first college) or Texas A&M.
April 30, 2016: The Cardinals use their final draft pick on Southeastern Louisiana product Harlan Miller, who posted a slow 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine which likely hurt his draft stock.
Early May, 2016: The Cardinals sign undrafted free agents Ronald Zamort, Trevon Hartfield, and Elie Bouka.
May 13, 2016: The Baltimore Ravens agree to terms on a one-year, $1,750,000 contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Powers made upward of $3 million in 2014 with Arizona, and upward of $4 million in the final year of his contract in 2015.
July 19, 2016: The Cardinals announce the signing of nine-year NFL veteran Mike Jenkins just 10 days prior to the start of fall camp.
July 26, 2016: Even though the Cardinals expected Bethel back for the start of training camp, the team announces the Presbyterian product will begin fall camp on Arizona's "physically unable to perform" list.
July 29, 2016: Arizona opens training camp with Williams working as a first-team cornerback, despite Williams having played the position for just 14 months.
August 5, 2016: Arizona announces the signing of veteran cornerback Alan Ball, who is expected to compete for a roster spot on a team that boasts 11 different cornerbacks in camp.
August 8, 2016: Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians says after a little more than a week of training camp that the starting job opposite All-Pro corner Patrick Peterson is "Brandon Williams' job to lose."
August 16, 2016: Bethel is activated from the physically unable to perform list after spending the first two and a half weeks of camp on the sidelines. Bethel does not begin practicing until later in the week.
August 29, 2016: Jenkins tears his ACL against the Houston Texans in the Cardinals' third preseason game, and is placed on injured reserve.
August 30, 2016: The Cardinals reach an injury settlement with Ball, who underwhelmed for the majority of camp and spent most of his reps practicing with the second and third team defense. The Cardinals also announce they released Jackson and Prater.
September 1, 2016: The Cardinals play their final preseason contest against the Denver Broncos, and former undrafted free agent cornerback Cariel Brooks suffers through a miserable outing. Brooks was beat throughout the game by Denver's second team receivers, and as a player fighting for one of Arizona's final roster spots, Brooks' performance likely prevented him from making the Cardinals' final roster.
September 2, 2016: With Bethel still plagued by foot issues and Williams' inexperience hurting the Cardinals during the preseason, Keim trades for Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper. Cooper was likely going to be cut by the Chiefs, and the Cardinals dealt Kansas City a conditional pick in 2018 to add Cooper to the team's 53-man roster.
September 8, 2016: Arians officially names Williams the team's starter opposite Peterson. Bethel is relegated to second-team duties.
September 11, 2016: Williams makes his first career start against the New England Patriots, and is burned on a first half touchdown when the Cardinals played man defense and Williams failed to check out of a zone coverage. Williams also allows Patriots' rookie Malcolm Mitchell to beat him on a critical third down play late in the second half that set up a New England score.
September 12, 2016: Arians says in a press conference that Bethel needs to decide whether he wants to play with an ailing foot. Arians' comments suggest Bethel has not fully recovered from offseason surgery, and that the injury has impacted his performance. Arians said Bethel missed two special teams tackles against New England.
September 14, 2016: Arizona claims Simon off of waivers, which suggests the Cardinals may have been the only team to put a waiver claim in on Simon considering the Cardinals have such a low waiver number after finishing 13-3. Simon joins four other cornerbacks on a Cardinals roster that played with three cornerbacks for the majority of the 2015 season.null