Betting on himself: Cards corner Bethel looking to lock down starting spot

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Justin Bethel makes a tackle on special teams in 2016 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Justin Bethel makes a tackle on special teams in 2016 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Justin Bethel breaks up a pass to Larry Fitzgerald at Cards Camp. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Justin Bethel breaks up a pass to Larry Fitzgerald at Cards Camp. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Cardinals fans know his name and know his face. Special teams ace Justin Bethel has been to Pro Bowl and this season hopes to take his game to another level.

“Everybody knows what I can do at the cornerback position,” says Bethel. “Now that I’m feeling healthy again, it’s time to go out and show what I can do at corner.”

It's a “show me” season for Bethel. He suffered a foot injury at the end of the 2015 season that required offseason surgery. Bethel suffered a set back three weeks before 2016 training camp and only started three games.

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"I missed pretty much the whole offseason. My body feels way better. My foot feels way better. I'm able to go out and get reps, which wasn't able to do until late into training camp," said Bethel.

Bethel took some blame for the Packers completing two Hail Mary’s in the playoffs two years ago. Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians made headlines last season calling Bethel’s bid to become the starting cornerback opposite All-Pro Patrick Peterson, a “failure in progress.”

"The best thing with him, when he gives up a play, right now, he just comes back and goes to the next one," said Arians. "That used to bother him. Now it doesn't. He's learning to get amnesia."

Bethel has bet on himself. He was set to make $4.5 million dollars this season but accepted a $2 million pay cut, according to multiple reports, to become a free agent at the end of the season. Bethel explained why he bet on himself.

“It's one of those things where you know that can go out there and perform at high level,” said Bethel. “At the end of the day, everything will work out for me how it’s supposed to."

Bethel credits his family and faith for keeping him focused through the ups and downs. It’s a big year for Bethel. It’s a good thing he’s good at making big plays.

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