Jerraud Powers unsure about future with Cardinals as free agency nears

Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers wants a three- or four-year deal, and wants to go to a team with a "winning pedigree" that could contend for a title immediately. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

TEMPE, Ariz. -- For as close as upcoming free agent Jerraud Powers believes he is to returning to the Arizona Cardinals next season, he thinks there is as good of a chance he plays somewhere else.

"I think it’s close but at the same time, it’s not," Powers told ESPN. "We’ve been in talks, but I don’t know what the waiting process is like. I’m starting to think that maybe they’re just going to move in another direction.

"You still got a lot of days before actual free agency starts."

Free agency begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but teams and upcoming unrestricted free agents were allowed to begin negotiating Monday. Powers, who played three seasons in Arizona, said teams have already reached out to his agents, Chafie Fields and Joel Segal. But Powers told them he didn’t want them calling every hour with potential teams. With two kids at home and a workout regimen to maintain, Powers said the plan was to go over the day’s activity every night leading up to free agency.

He’s been consistent about wanting to return to Arizona. Powers, 28, said he wants to continue being part of a secondary that has developed into one of the league’s best.

"I think it’s a special thing going on there, particularly the secondary," Powers said. "Being one of the guys to help start it and get it going, I’d love to get a deal where I can finish my career there."

If Powers does not return to Arizona for the 2016 season, he’s particular with the type of situation he wants to enter with a new team.

He wants a three- or four-year deal. He wants to go to a team with a "winning pedigree" that could contend for a title immediately. He also knows how much he wants to get paid, but wouldn’t disclose the number. Entering his eighth season, Powers said he understands this might be his last shot at a big pay day. He called the number "not too crazy" but "then again, it’s a number that I feel compensates things I’ve done the past few years as far as my availability in the market, as well."

Powers made $4.35 million last season.

"It’s a business and this is free agency," Powers said. "I’m married with kids now, so I’m in a position where I have to take care of my family and make sure the back end is the way it needs to be.

"Everything now is not in my hands anymore. Whatever happens is going to happen. I think it’s going to be a pretty good situation for me either with the Cardinals or with another team."

He played 14 games last season, missing his first practice and games with the Cardinals because of a calf injury suffered in Week 12. After injuries plagued his four years in Indianapolis -- he finished the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons on injured reserve -- he feels he has proven that he's durable to potential suitors.

Powers had 167 tackles, five interceptions, his first two career sacks and two forced fumbles with the Cardinals. In 2013, his first season in the desert, he played outside cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. He moved inside to slot corner, which he prefers, the following year when the Cardinals signed cornerback Antonio Cromartie in free agency. With Cromartie out of Arizona as a free agent in 2015, Powers moved back outside until Week 15, when he had to move to the slot after safety Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL.

Playing opposite Peterson has been the type of showcase Powers feels can net him a large contract in free agency.

"I’ve had a good resume the last three years playing opposite of Pat, which I don’t think people understand how tough that can be," Powers said. "And to be able to handle that and the leadership and the other things that I’ve done, I’m pretty confident heading into free agency."

He added: "I think teams appreciate it. I think people know our style of defense and what we play and what it takes to get it done. Our style of defense, if you don’t have a corner who can play man-to-man and press, the defense is not going to be successful. I think people understand that."

Powers said his wife, Leah, likes living in Arizona and their son has made "a lot of new friends." There is still a bad taste in his mouth from losing the NFC Championship Game to Carolina back in January.

There is unfinished business, Powers said.

When he had to filter the periphery away, Powers said he feels he will be back with the Cardinals in 2016.

"Honestly, I do," he said. "I hope so.

"I understand the business. I understand if they want me, I’ll be there. If they don’t, you just got to move on. If they decide to move on, I’m not going to take it personal, because they have to do what’s best for the Cardinals."