The 2013 Arizona Cardinals will look different in many aspects compared to the 2012 Arizona Cardinals roster. After a 5-11 season, it should be that way. However, don’t look at the Cardinals off-season activity as a rebuild. I look at it as a different-build. I know others see it that way too. I like the approach Steve Keim, general manager of the Cards, has taken since taking over his new duties in January. I like the confidence of Bruce Arians, the Cards new head coach. Question moves if you’d like. I still question some but the fact is, at least on paper, this team is better now than it was December 30th, their last game played.
What they did in free agency hasn’t blown many away and I get that. Carson Palmer isn’t Kurt Warner and isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback. He is the now-answer though. He is a definite upgrade from Kevin Kolb, who all of the sudden thinks he can win a Super Bowl in Buffalo. Good luck with that I say. They dumped John Skelton. Good. Hey, I’m happy for him landing in Cincinnati. He seemed like a nice enough guy but he can’t throw and NFL football and the Bengals will quickly discover that.
The Cards recently acquired Antonie Cason, formerly of the San Diego Chargers. He is an upgrade from William Gay, don’t you think? I did like Kerry Rhodes a lot, however he didn’t want to be here. Would you want a guy on the roster that isn’t 100 percent into being a Cardinal? Not me.
I love the Lorenzo Alexander pickup. and now he looks especially good seeing that Daryl Washington will be out for the first four games of the 2013 season. Same can be said for Rashard Mendenhall. Sure, I know the guy has been injured off and on, but so was Beanie Wells. Wells was another guy who didn’t want to play for the Cards anymore and even said as much going into the final week of the 2012 season. He said he would be playing for the other 31 teams in the last game. So, he sat. Don’t want him, don’t need him. He’s going to play on a make-good one-year contract. That should be a great motivator.
I will miss Greg Toler but not Stewart Bradley. Jasper Brinkley is a decent addition. Adrian Wilson will be missed but he has lost a step or two. I wish him luck in New England.
Believe it or not, I do like the Drew Stanton pickup. I still saw his signing as a step in the right direction before Carson Palmer. Now he will be the backup instead of the “answer” he hoped to be. I think that third quarterback spot is what is still up in the air. The Cards worked Matt Barkley out the other day and I know that left a few heads being scratched, however, I have to believe the Cards have a plan. I truly believe they plan on spending a pick on him if it is somewhere other than number seven. If they do land him, it is definitely not for now, but one-two years down the road. Palmer’s presence allows that luxury.
The Cards will have a lot of options in the draft and I could see them moving around not only in the first round but the later rounds as well, depending on how players fall to other teams. They may not find a superstar in this years draft but I think this by far could be the most interesting draft the Cards have had in quite sometime. The Cards want to win now, despite what you may think of the moves and no-moves so far in the off-season. It is a different build, one that expects to win even in a talent-heavy division.