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Arizona Cardinals to sign free agent safety Antoine Bethea per report

The Arizona Cardinals wasted no time in finding their veteran replacement for Tony Jefferson

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The first dominoes started falling yesterday for the Arizona Cardinals, as it was reported that Tony Jefferson had come to terms on a contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

While nothing is official for a couple of more hours, this seemed like a foregone conclusion when this week started and no deal was in place between the Cardinals and Jefferson.

Well, the Cardinals wasted little time finding a veteran replacement for Jefferson, as they have come to terms on a three year contract with soon to be 33 year old Antoine Bethea, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.

Kent Somers was the first to report the imminent deal between Bethea and the Cardinals.

Bethea is a three time Pro Bowler, his last trip occurring in 2014 in his first year with the San Francisco 49ers.

Bethea has a Bruce Arians connection as they both were members of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts team.

Bethea brings experience and knowledge of the NFC West, but has seen a decline in his play the last three seasons.

From Dave Fucillo of Niners Nation:

The 49ers released Bethea after three seasons of his four-year deal. He had a strong first year, but a suffered a torn pectoral muscle in 2015. In 2016, he played all 16 games, but took a step back from 2014. He is a solid run defender, but a liability in pass coverage. He’s much better as a traditional in-the-box safety.

Much of that can likely be linked back to a terrible 49ers roster, but we will see what Bethea has left in the tank.

This is the first of what is likely a number of smaller moves to rebuild the Arizona Cardinals to keep them in contention in the NFC West.