Javier Arenas had no interest in being a backup.
So, when the Kansas City Chiefs went and acquired new defensive backs in the offseason, the former second round pick said he told the organization he understood what they were doing, but wasn’t planning on losing his starting job.
So they traded him to Arizona for fullback Anthony Sherman.
“I didn’t necessarily ask for a trade,” Arenas told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday.
Arenas said he let the Chiefs know how he felt, and that he believed he was a better player than those who were brought in to replace him.
Now Arenas is one of many new faces on the Arizona Cardinals roster, joining a handful of players competing for key spots in the team’s secondary.
“I feel like I’ve been great,” Arenas said of his performance in camp thus far. “Of course, there are areas I can improve in, but I feel like I’ve been great.”
Though he may not exactly be a household name, it is not as if Arenas is an unknown entity. He’s played in 47 games over the last three seasons — including 12 starts — and has picked off a pair of passes while tallying four quarterback sacks.
Also effective in the kick return game, Arenas’ versatility — and confidence — will go a long way toward helping him make the 53-man roster. He isn’t saying he’s been dominant, but he believes he’s done well since donning Cardinal Red and will continue to improve.
“I’m in the midst of becoming a great NFL player right now,” he said. “And this is it right here, earning this position, earning these spots over here.”
A star at Alabama, the 5-foot-9, 197-pound player conceded has not arrived as a top-flight cornerback. Yet.
“I know me, I know what type of player I am, I know what I’m capable of,” he said. “And I know the best positions for me to excel in, but right now I feel like I’m not at my best.
“But I’m getting there.”