The Arizona Cardinals announced a pair of signings on Tuesday. They announced the re-signing of safety Chris Clemons and they also added a new cornerback out of Australia, Joel Wilkinson. Clemons' deal is for one season and Wilkinson's likely covers three years, as that is the time teams have control of players entering the league for the first time.
Clemons (6-1, 215) played in seven regular season games and both postseason contests for the Cardinals last season and had four tackles on defense and three special teams tackles. He joined the Cardinals in 2014 and played in one game that season. A seven-year NFL veteran, Clemons originally entered the league with Miami as a fifth-round selection (165th overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Clemson. He played his first five seasons with the Dolphins where he appeared in 72 games with 48 starts and had 256 tackles, four interceptions, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and 22 special teams tackles.
He started the season on the active roster, landed on injured reserve and then returned after many weeks and an injury settlement. He was used early on in the season and again late and the team's seventh defensive back in some sets. He is solid on special teams.
The move solidifies the depth at safety, a position that could have some turnover. Rashad Johnson is going to be an unrestricted free agent. Tony Jefferson will be a restricted free agent. Tyrann Mathieu is recovering from ACL surgery and Deone Bucannon really hasn't even played safety since entering the league.
Wilkinson (6-0, 190) is a former Australian rules football player who was born in Sydney and raised in Gold Coast, Queensland. He played three years (2011-13) with his hometown Gold Coast Suns in the Australian Football League (AFL) and appeared in 26 games. Wilkinson, now 24, also played two years (2014-15) with the Northern Blues in the Victorian Football League (VFL) where he appeared in 27 contests.
We will have to see if he is anything more than a novelty. Is he fast? Can he play special teams? Can he cover NFL receivers?
For now, he is depth for a roster that will eventually get to 90 players.