The Arizona Cardinals have addressed a couple of areas since free agency began, but there’s plenty more that needs to be done
Being a fan of the Arizona Cardinals can be a frustrating experience. There are highs and lows associated with each and every offseason that the club’s front office indulges in. More often than not, the Cards fail to acquire the players that would appear to be answers for the various problems with their roster.
Up until this point, Arizona has received mixed reviews on their free agent acquisitions. Guard Justin Pugh is an instant upgrade for their offensive line, while offensive tackle Andre Smith has never lived up to his potential. Quarterback Sam Bradford will do fine if he can stay healthy, Mike Glennon is a decent backup for him and cornerback Bene Benwikere is a depth signing, at best.
The just-announced trade of right tackle Jared Veldheer has freed up another $6.9 million in salary-cap space for the organization. There’s areas of the team that still need addressing, so it’s time for general manager Steve Keim to get to it.
The number-two cornerback spot has become an annual problem. Keim may be mistaken if he believes that Benwikere is the solution. Two other corners that the Cardinals supposedly had interest in, Tramon Williams and E.J. Gaines, have signed elsewhere.
Former Carolina Panther Robert McClain reportedly visited Cards’ headquarters on Thursday. On Friday, Marcus Cooper came in, vying for a possible second stint in the desert. As of this writing, neither veteran was inked to a deal.
The free agent losses of Josh Mauro and Xavier Williams have opened up a couple of spots on Arizona’s defensive line. There’s talk that new defensive coordinator Al Holcomb could be implementing a 4-3 alignment. If that’s true, there are players that are still unemployed who would be good fits for that system.
The newly-acquired cap room could allow the Cardinals to make a play for the talented Ndamukong Suh. Jonathan Hankins, recently cut by the Indianapolis Colts, would be another superb addition. Bennie Logan would also look good in a Cards’ uniform, and would probably come cheaper than both Suh and Hankins.
New signal-caller Bradford could use some more wide receivers to throw to. The Brown twins (John and Jaron) have recently departed, so the wideout room needs some replenishing. Jordan Matthews, Kendall Wright, Jeremy Maclin and Eric Decker are all capable pass-catchers still searching for work.
Starting tight end Jermaine Gresham’s torn Achilles tendon could jeopardize his 2018 campaign. Ricky Seals-Jones has potential, but is raw, and Troy Niklas is a free-agent. Perhaps Keim can squeeze another year out of Antonio Gates, or possibly rent Julius Thomas for the upcoming season.
Now that Adrian Peterson has been waived, Arizona could use some insurance for running back David Johnson. Actually, Peterson is quite possibly the best available candidate, if the future Hall of Famer can be re-signed at a cheaper salary. There are other possibilities, including Demarco Murray, Alfred Morris, Thomas Rawls, Jamaal Charles and Eddie Lacy.
It’s obvious that the Cardinals still have work to do. Now that Veldheer has been dealt, the franchise currently has about $20 million in cap space to play with. Let the shopping spree begin.