Grading the Arizona Cardinals moves in free agency so far this year

It's been a mostly-quiet offseason for Arizona so far.
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

As far as free agency spending is concerned, the Cardinals have been quiet so far. Most of Arizona's moves have been one-year deals, mostly for depth pieces that help fill out the fringes of their current roster. And with almost $34 million left to spend when the new league year begins on Wednesday afternoon, there are plenty of options available over the next days and weeks. But right now, it doesn't take a deep dive into Cardinals Twitter to see how disappointed fans have been with the way that GM Monti Ossenfort has approached free agency so far. But as far as actual moves go, how have the Cardinals graded out so far? Let's take a look.

Grading the Arizona Cardinals moves in free agency so far this year

1. Bilal Nichols, DT, Las Vegas Raiders: B-

Deal: three-year, $21 million

The Cardinals desperately needed help on their defensive front, and Nichols technically fits that need. Nichols has a history of being great stopping the run, and has at least 40 solo tackles in each of the past four seasons. He's also as dependable as they come: he hasn't missed a game in the last two years, and has played at least 15 games in each of the last four. He's only 27 years old, so it's reasonable to think his production may stick around through the length of his contract. Still, Nichols hasn't quite ever been the player he was in Chicago, and his Pro Football Focus grades show a player who has gotten a bit worse each season since. As a depth move, it's not a bad one – as the "flashy" big move of the offseason, it's underwhelming.

2. Trystan Colon, G, Arizona Cardinals

Deal: one-year, $1.75 million: B

It's not a head-turner, but for as exciting as backup offensive line signings can, this one makes sense. He played in four games for the Cardinals last year, and while his PFF pass grade (69.2) is significantly better than his run grade (55.5), his overall grade is playable (59.6) in a pinch, and his overall body of work – three years with the Ravens before coming to Arizona in 2023 – shows a guy who's capable of having a bounce back year. He allowed two sacks and eight pressures last season, so there's room to improve.

3. Krys Barnes, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Deal: one-year, terms TBD: C+

Barnes is a perfectly fine signing for a team that needs linebacking depth and help with special teams. Last year was the first time he played at least 50% of special teams snaps, so it seems pretty obvious what the Cardinals plan for him is. He's never recaptured the form he had in his first two seasons with the Packers – when he had at least 80 tackles and a sack in both years – but Barnes, like most of the other signings, is just fine.

4. Mack Wilson, LB, New England Patriots

Deal: three-years, terms TBD: C

Unless something crazy happens, Wilson probably goes into next season as one of the Cardinals' starting linebackers. It's probably fair to be a little concerned about that: after starting 14 games for the Browns his rookie year, Wilson hasn't ever started more than eight games, and has started less less games in every season since he came into the league. He did have a career-high in sacks last year, for what it's worth (3.5). He figures to play well in coverage, too. Again, not exciting, but not terrible.