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Justin Bethel takes pay cut with Cardinals

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Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel made two All-Pro teams and three Pro Bowl rosters due to his special teams work from 2013-15, but a transition to a bigger role on defense last season didn’t go as well.

Coach Bruce Arians called the idea of giving Bethel more time in the secondary a “failure in progress” late last season. The lack of success on defense last year may be related to Bethel making less money than he was scheduled to earn in 2017.

Bethel has taken a pay cut from $4.5 million to $2 million for the coming season. If Bethel should turn in a better performance during the upcoming season, he’ll have a chance to get some of it back earlier than initially expected.

Bethel was signed through the 2018 season, but the reworking of his contract has eliminated that year. That sets Bethel up to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so a rebound on the field could lead to a rebound in the bank account as well.

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15 Responses to “Justin Bethel takes pay cut with Cardinals”
  1. headwoundharry says: Mar 15, 2017 12:20 PM

    This must invigorate the locker room. Take a 60% pay cut and you can stay. Very inspiring.

  2. jackedupboonie says: Mar 15, 2017 12:37 PM

    Yeah, take 40cents on the dollar or we cut you…right as teams have used up all their big free agency dollars. You can take 2 mil from us or 1.5 from someone else.

  3. chawk12thman says: Mar 15, 2017 12:38 PM

    Tough business. At least he gets to check out the open market next year as compensation for reduction.

  4. gbrim20 says: Mar 15, 2017 12:42 PM

    Good news. He wasn’t worth the $5M/year they originally signed him too. Glad to have him as depth, but not starter money.

  5. jvw1982 says: Mar 15, 2017 12:54 PM

    Where are all the comments complaining about the team not honoring a contract???? (crickets) thought so….fans only complain when the player breaks the contract….

  6. whythecardinals says: Mar 15, 2017 1:00 PM

    Oh bull crap… you posters that are mocking this move… The Cardinals took a risk on him when they drafted him…. a freaking 6th round pick from a small college P College (PC) in Clinton, sc…. I am a fan of Justin because he graduated the same year my son entered (PC)… I have been a die hard fan of Cardinals since 1974…. and being a fan, I am honest: Justin failed in coverage this year, and last year, especially against Carolina in the Championship… He hasn’t developed into a corner or safety, but he has an intense passion and amazing quickness on safety teams… He was given the contract because they believed he would be a great corner. He retained because he is a great person and player.

  7. therealtrenches says: Mar 15, 2017 1:35 PM

    The Cardinals fell to the bottom half of the league in 2016. Barring an exceptionally excellent draft, they break into free fall mode this year while their arrogant coach continues to throw players under the bus.

  8. thisoneguy1 says: Mar 15, 2017 1:40 PM

    jvw1982 says:
    Where are all the comments complaining about the team not honoring a contract???? (crickets) thought so….fans only complain when the player breaks the contract….

    You’re hearing crickets on the subject because most posters are smart enough to know how NFL contracts are written, and that teams are NOT breaking them.

  9. dwoofer says: Mar 15, 2017 1:53 PM

    The Cards made a mistake paying him the higher salary to start with, so they are just correcting their mistake. Bethel understands this and is doing the honest thing. That’s the type of guy he is

  10. eramming says: Mar 15, 2017 2:40 PM

    therealtrenches says:
    Mar 15, 2017 1:35 PM
    The Cardinals fell to the bottom half of the league in 2016. Barring an exceptionally excellent draft, they break into free fall mode this year while their arrogant coach continues to throw players under the bus.

    Really? Last I checked they were top 10 defense and top 10 offense in 2016

  11. bobthebillsfan says: Mar 15, 2017 2:42 PM

    What shocks me is that Coach Bruce Arians referred to him as a “failure in progress”. I do not know of any other coach who would bad mouth a player like this.

  12. arzcardinals says: Mar 15, 2017 3:08 PM

    Justin IS a special teams ace…and that’s it. He’s not a CB or an S.
    They tried…didn’t work.

  13. backuppunter says: Mar 15, 2017 3:45 PM

    Tough for the ego but good for him that he didn’t let his pride take him away from his team and most likely make even less money somewhere else. I would love to see him earn his old contract back

  14. Ananda says: Mar 15, 2017 4:26 PM

    Now I’m a real fan of Justin… And I also would like to see him earn that old contract, check that, new and better contract, in the days ahead.

    We’re with you Justin!

  15. Over/Under Expert says: Mar 15, 2017 6:14 PM

    The only people who are critical of this contract and Arians are Seahawks fans since 2013. You know, the team that couldn’t beat the Cardinals in 2016.

    Funny how the 2013s criticize pay cuts, especially after they asked Marshawn, Zach Miller, Michael Bennett, Bruce Irvin, Locklear, and others to take pay cuts in recent years.

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