The medium-sized defender was traded to the Crows from Hawthorn in October, where he played 27 games in four seasons.
Before playing for the Hawks, Cheney was at Melbourne, but could only manage 14 games in 2009-10.
With Andy Otten not expected to return from a knee reconstruction until late next year and with Sam Shaw facing a delayed start to his pre-season due to hamstring issues, Cheney will push for a round-one position at Adelaide.
"I played the nine games this year, pretty much whenever Brian Lake was injured or suspended," Cheney told afc.com.au.
"I'd come in and play that sort of role but as soon as Brian came back, regardless of form, I'd get pushed out of the side.
"I was looking for opportunities and when Adelaide expressed an interest in me, I came over and had a look through the facilities and it was all systems go from there.
"I just want to play AFL footy as often as I can and get exposure at the level ... hopefully that will eventuate at Adelaide."
The 25-year-old said he would also look to show his leadership skills at his new club.
He found it difficult to lead in Hawthorn's backline, where he was surrounded by players with a huge amount of experience and success.
Cheney said the environment at West Lakes would help bring out his best.
"It's probably easier to come in and fit into a group that is a little bit younger," he said.
"When I came in and played in the backline at Hawthorn, I was with very experienced players like Josh Gibson … guys who were more advanced than what I had to offer, so I just took a back seat.
"With a younger group at Adelaide, I feel like I can come in and develop my leadership skills with guys in a similar age group."