Will Jerraud Powers be a salary cap casualty for the Arizona Cardinals?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The team's number two corner has a bigger cap number in 2014.

As we get closer to the beginning of the league's new year March 11 and the beginning of free agency, teams are forced to think about their salary cap situation. The Arizona Cardinals have some salary cap room, but that doesn't mean they will not look at some contracts they have and shed ones they feel are overpriced or just not productive enough.

Fans wonder about cornerback Jerraud Powers, who was signed to a three-year contract last offseason.

Powers was the subject of a lot of fan frustration in 2013, and reasonably so. He was beaten more than once in coverage and he got a lot of attention because he is the guy on the opposite side of the field as Patrick Peterson.

Powers, entering 2014, has a salary cap number of $4.75 million, as his salary jumps to $3.75 million (he was paid $1 million in salary in 2013). Cutting him would save $2.75 million, leaving $2 million in dead money.

However, it is not that simple.

Arizona doesn't have stability at cornerback. Tyrann Mathieu is recovering from major knee surgery. Antoine Cason, Javier Arenas and Bryann McCann are all set to be free agents. Justin Bethel has only played a few snaps on defense in his career.

Powers is an Arians guy, He was lauded all year by his teammates for his play.

What's more...he wasn't abysmal. He was among the league leaders in passes defensed. He was good in run support with 66 total tackles. His overall grade on the season from Pro Football Focus was -1.5. His pass coverage grade over was -4.8, but he was split evenly game to game with positive and negative grades in coverage.

He was targeted 122 times on the season. He gave up three touchdowns and a passer rating of 89.9. To contrast, Peterson was targeted 90 times, gave up seven scores (against opposing teams' top wideout) and a passer rating of 91.3.

Yes, there are many options in free agency. Josh Weinfuss notes them in his ESPN article. However, how many of them are upgrades and cheaper?

Unless you sign another Patrick Peterson type player to play as the team's number two corner, he will get picked on like Powers did last season and will likely have the same results.

It is for those reasons that I personally believe that Powers will be back. It wouldn't blow me away if he were cut, but I just don't know how much of an upgrade they would get without spending at least the amount of money they already have invested in Powers.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment section. How frustrating was Powers for you? Could they save money and upgrade?

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