When it comes to free agency and the draft, the Arizona Cardinals may be looking at the same priorities when it comes to needs. Since free agency comes first here in March though, we can take a look at what those needs are. Probably the biggest needs are cornerback, offensive line, and linebacker. They will also probably try to address the kicker and defensive line positions as well.
The Cards may not draft any of those positions first though. They can also look to upgrade at tight end and add a quarterback in the draft. However, here is how I see things playing out keeping in mind with free agency it really should be about priorities.
Possible top free agent targets:
1. Karlos Dansby, LB – Keeping him in house is most important, given what he meant to the Cards defense in 2013. If for some reason the Cards can’t keep Dansby, there is a long list of free-agent inside linebackers that could fit well with the Cards.
2. Aqib Talib, CB - He’ll cost a lot but someone the Cards should consider at corner. Some people have suggested even bringing back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I don’t know about that one. He was ready to call it quits if he’d won the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos a couple of weeks ago.
3. Charles Tillman, CB – This cornerback would be a fine addition to the mix. Personally I think the Chicago Bears should try and keep him.
4. Steven Hauschka, K – It’s no secret the Cards aren’t completely happy with Jay Feely and his kicking duties in 2013. He wasn’t that bad but did miss a couple of crucial kicks.
5. Jared Allen, DE – Some would like to see the Cards add another pass rusher. I don’t know if it is a top priority but if the Cards have shown me anything in the past year, it is the willingness to show they will do what it takes to win now. Allen would be a “win now” addition.
6. Michael Bennett, DE – Like Hauschka, it is hard for me to envision anyone wanting to leave Seattle, especially for a division-rival like the Cards, however it boils down to a business and if the Cards mean business, this signing would show it.
7. Branden Albert, OT – Not too often you’ll find a jewel on the offensive line in free agency. Usually they are “serviceable” guys. I think with Albert though, he’d be more than serviceable.
8. Michael Oher, OT - Here is a guy that at this point in his career would probably be a serviceable guy but I’d rank him at the top end of those guys.
9. Eric Winston, OT – Re-signing with the Cards is a distinct possibility but the fact is they probably can’t afford to keep all their free-agents. If they re-sign Dansby they may not be able to re-sign Winston. Money talks unfortunately.
10. Scott Chandler, TE – If the Cards decide to kick the doors on upgrading tight end in free agency, my personal top choice would be Chandler. I like what he brought to the Buffalo Bills offense. Of course there are bigger names ahead of Chandler but they will all cost money. money the Cards will need to spend elsewhere.