The Kansas City Chiefs thinned out a crowded defensive backfield by trading Javier Arenas to Arizona on Wednesday for fullback Anthony Sherman, who didn’t appear to fit with new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians’ offense.
An undersized cornerback better suited to nickel and dime packages, Arenas moved into the Chiefs’ starting lineup part of last season when they decided to cut starter Stanford Routt.
Arenas finished the season with 59 tackles and one forced fumble. He wound up making 12 starts in 47 games over three seasons with Kansas City. The former second-round draft pick had two interceptions while also returning punts and kickoffs.
The Chiefs have aggressively remolded their defensive backfield this offseason, luring free agents Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith to compete for the cornerback job opposite Brandon Flowers. They also picked Georgia defensive back Sanders Commings in the fifth round of last weekend’s draft.
It’s possible that Commings could shift from cornerback to safety.
The Chiefs also drafted a fullback in the sixth round in Braden Wilson, who played nearby at Kansas State. But that evidently didn’t deter new general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid from acquiring Sherman from the Cardinals.
”A personnel guy’s job is never done, but right now I feel pretty good about going into camp,” Dorsey said recently. ”For the most part, I feel like the way we are going to camp, we are 95 percent there. This is kind of the way we are going to go to camp.”
Sherman was used primarily as a blocking back under former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. He caught 13 passes for 111 yards and carried just once for three yards over two seasons.
Arians’ offense uses tight ends in blocking roles similar to a fullback.
The Cardinals have been seeking depth at cornerback, particularly after losing Richard Marshall and Greg Toler the past couple years. New general manager Steve Keim alleviated some of those problems when he signed Antoine Cason and Jerraud Powers in free agency.
Cason is expected to start opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson, leaving Arenas to compete with Powers and Jamell Fleming for playing time. The Cardinals also drafted Tyrann Mathieu in the third round, and he can play both weak-side safety and slot cornerback.
Arenas is entering the final year of a four-year deal worth nearly $4 million, and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Sherman has two years left on his contract.