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Cardinals to pick up safety Antoine Bethea’s deal for 2018

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Antoine Bethea is hit by New York Giants tight end Jerell Adams (89) after an interception during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals will pick up the $1 million roster bonus owed to safety Antoine Bethea should he remain on the roster five days into the league year, reports 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

The league year and NFL free agency signing period begins on March 14.

Bethea signed a three-year deal worth $12.8 million before the 2017 season with $4 million of that guaranteed. In 2018, he will make a $3 million base salary along with the roster bonus, according to

Arizona will make the move to retain Bethea after the veteran compiled 57 tackles, a forced fumble and career-high five interceptions last season, playing in 15 games. Bethea missed the season finale after tearing his pectoral muscle.

Related: A list of the Cardinals’ free agents

Bethea earned praise from former coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim for his locker room leadership throughout the year, and his play down the stretch despite the Cardinals falling out of the playoff picture.

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