10 thoughts - free agency

Gandhi

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There will involuntarily be an element of name dropping in this column, but I have looked at the players as fits in the schemes before mentioning them.

Like I have mentioned here many times, the salary cap is not relevant at all. You cannot ignore the salary cap, but teams can get around it very, very easily. By the way, it has just been set at 208.2 million – going up with 25.7 million from last year. And that development will 99.9% surely continue in the coming years. Thus, I have not even considered it in this column.

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1 – I would focus primarily on the offense (all offseason, actually). The Cards were arguably the best team in the NFL until the offense broke down, and even though the defense also played worse down the road, they were still good enough to win.

If the starting quarterback next season is named Kyler Murray, I would be okay with that. He obviously has a lot of talent, so the possibility of getting that unlocked is very intriguing. Most teams in the league are looking for that.

But improve the talent around him, please.

2 – Don’t think that it signals anything that Keim said “absolutely” when asked if they would pick up Murray’s fifth year option. He is 1000 times easier to trade if he is on a rookie deal, and even if a new team would want to extent him, they would strongly prefer to do it themselves.

(And also, Murray’s agent’s letter is very obviously a threat. “Sign me or get into trouble.”

+ There is a big need for quarterbacks around the league, hence the timing, so that Murray can get in on the wide-open supply-and-demand window, and thus increase his contract. After the draft, when teams are more or less set, that approach will not have nearly the same effect).

3 – Who steps up inside, at right guard? Maybe someone from outside (see what I did there?). Conner Williams from the Cowboys, Austin Corbett from the Rams or Alex Cappa from the Bucs are interesting.

4 – Chandler Jones is no longer good enough. Bring back Haason Reddick. They should have kept him last offseason (yeah, that’s easy to say now, but my post at that time will show that I have said it all along).

By the way, Jadeveon Clowney have always been a very good run defender, and being injury prone seems like a major plus to Keim.

5 – They usually make one big signing, and I only pay a big contract for a wide receiver. Trading for Amari Cooper from the Cowboys?

6 – I read some speculation that the Cards would be an obvious fit for Saquan Barkley, and that he would cost a third- or fourth round pick. I would be down with that.

7 – Deshaun Watson. You have to mention him.

8 – My biggest priority bring-backs are Zach Ertz, James Conner, Maxx Williams, Dennis Gardeck, Zeke Turner, Andy Lee, Colt McCoy, Charles Washington.

9 – Calais Campbell reunion? Sure, let’s go. Other intriguing defensive tackle options include D.J. Jones from the Niners and B.J. Hill from the Bengals.

10 – Stephon Gilmore seems like an obvious target. Great cornerback, but up in age, and a little injury prone, so he could easily hit the market, even though the Panthers traded for him just last season. I believe in Marco Wilson, but I prefer Byron Murphy in the slot, and thus it would be perfect to add an experience vet, that still have a high level, to the outside.
 

Cardsfaninlouky

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There will involuntarily be an element of name dropping in this column, but I have looked at the players as fits in the schemes before mentioning them.

Like I have mentioned here many times, the salary cap is not relevant at all. You cannot ignore the salary cap, but teams can get around it very, very easily. By the way, it has just been set at 208.2 million – going up with 25.7 million from last year. And that development will 99.9% surely continue in the coming years. Thus, I have not even considered it in this column.

----------

1 – I would focus primarily on the offense (all offseason, actually). The Cards were arguably the best team in the NFL until the offense broke down, and even though the defense also played worse down the road, they were still good enough to win.

If the starting quarterback next season is named Kyler Murray, I would be okay with that. He obviously has a lot of talent, so the possibility of getting that unlocked is very intriguing. Most teams in the league are looking for that.

But improve the talent around him, please.

2 – Don’t think that it signals anything that Keim said “absolutely” when asked if they would pick up Murray’s fifth year option. He is 1000 times easier to trade if he is on a rookie deal, and even if a new team would want to extent him, they would strongly prefer to do it themselves.

(And also, Murray’s agent’s letter is very obviously a threat. “Sign me or get into trouble.”

+ There is a big need for quarterbacks around the league, hence the timing, so that Murray can get in on the wide-open supply-and-demand window, and thus increase his contract. After the draft, when teams are more or less set, that approach will not have nearly the same effect).

3 – Who steps up inside, at right guard? Maybe someone from outside (see what I did there?). Conner Williams from the Cowboys, Austin Corbett from the Rams or Alex Cappa from the Bucs are interesting.

4 – Chandler Jones is no longer good enough. Bring back Haason Reddick. They should have kept him last offseason (yeah, that’s easy to say now, but my post at that time will show that I have said it all along).

By the way, Jadeveon Clowney have always been a very good run defender, and being injury prone seems like a major plus to Keim.

5 – They usually make one big signing, and I only pay a big contract for a wide receiver. Trading for Amari Cooper from the Cowboys?

6 – I read some speculation that the Cards would be an obvious fit for Saquan Barkley, and that he would cost a third- or fourth round pick. I would be down with that.

7 – Deshaun Watson. You have to mention him.

8 – My biggest priority bring-backs are Zach Ertz, James Conner, Maxx Williams, Dennis Gardeck, Zeke Turner, Andy Lee, Colt McCoy, Charles Washington.

9 – Calais Campbell reunion? Sure, let’s go. Other intriguing defensive tackle options include D.J. Jones from the Niners and B.J. Hill from the Bengals.

10 – Stephon Gilmore seems like an obvious target. Great cornerback, but up in age, and a little injury prone, so he could easily hit the market, even though the Panthers traded for him just last season. I believe in Marco Wilson, but I prefer Byron Murphy in the slot, and thus it would be perfect to add an experience vet, that still have a high level, to the outside.
3. Corbett or Williams would be great but at what cost? I still think we can get some solid play from Justin Murray at RG if he comes in healthy but he had a back problem this year which is concerning. Josh Jones didn't look good at RG, I thought he looked better at RT when Beachum moved to LT. Justin Murray held his own at RT in 2019. Pugh imo needs to be replaced (not physical enough) with Kenyon Green if he's still on the board at #23.

4. I've been hoping since Reddick left that he would come back.

9. It would be sweet to get Campbell back for maybe 2 years, at least he'll anchor his spot & not get moved off the ball, he may not be as agile as he once was but he's still strong as on Ox & doesn't seem to get injured like Jordan Phillips. Cutting Philips would save quite a bit of cap money, 16.5 million I believe?

I know there's ways around the cap but a GM has to be smart about it, we don't have a smart GM lol. He can't draft, fixes the team with aging veterans that are injury prone because he can't draft & he has us in cap hell right now. The only thing I think he does well is makes good trades, just good enough to get our hopes up, only to be let down once again because his aging players break down mid season. Come on Steve Keim, prove me wrong lol.
 

slanidrac16

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There will involuntarily be an element of name dropping in this column, but I have looked at the players as fits in the schemes before mentioning them.

Like I have mentioned here many times, the salary cap is not relevant at all. You cannot ignore the salary cap, but teams can get around it very, very easily. By the way, it has just been set at 208.2 million – going up with 25.7 million from last year. And that development will 99.9% surely continue in the coming years. Thus, I have not even considered it in this column.

----------

1 – I would focus primarily on the offense (all offseason, actually). The Cards were arguably the best team in the NFL until the offense broke down, and even though the defense also played worse down the road, they were still good enough to win.

If the starting quarterback next season is named Kyler Murray, I would be okay with that. He obviously has a lot of talent, so the possibility of getting that unlocked is very intriguing. Most teams in the league are looking for that.

But improve the talent around him, please.
I agree 100%
2 – Don’t think that it signals anything that Keim said “absolutely” when asked if they would pick up Murray’s fifth year option. He is 1000 times easier to trade if he is on a rookie deal, and even if a new team would want to extent him, they would strongly prefer to do it themselves.

(And also, Murray’s agent’s letter is very obviously a threat. “Sign me or get into trouble.”

+ There is a big need for quarterbacks around the league, hence the timing, so that Murray can get in on the wide-open supply-and-demand window, and thus increase his contract. After the draft, when teams are more or less set, that approach will not have nearly the same effect).
Forget about it . Kyler is going to be our QB. The K boys will eventually burn and crash.
3 – Who steps up inside, at right guard? Maybe someone from outside (see what I did there?). Conner Williams from the Cowboys, Austin Corbett from the Rams or Alex Cappa from the Bucs are interesting.
Glowinski might come cheaper.
4 – Chandler Jones is no longer good enough. Bring back Haason Reddick. They should have kept him last offseason (yeah, that’s easy to say now, but my post at that time will show that I have said it all along).

By the way, Jadeveon Clowney have always been a very good run defender, and being injury prone seems like a major plus to Keim.
Reddick will not return here. Please no Clowney.
5 – They usually make one big signing, and I only pay a big contract for a wide receiver. Trading for Amari Cooper from the Cowboys?
Nothing against Cooper but he another pedestrian type receiver. We need speed. I’d rather have Cedric Wilson.
6 – I read some speculation that the Cards would be an obvious fit for Saquan Barkley, and that he would cost a third- or fourth round pick. I would be down with that.
If Barkley comes here Conner is gone. I’d be okay with this but it is taking a chance on a player that’s been injure more often than not.
7 – Deshaun Watson. You have to mention him.
Don’t have to mention him. He ain’t even in the same universe of the Cardinals.
8 – My biggest priority bring-backs are Zach Ertz, James Conner, Maxx Williams, Dennis Gardeck, Zeke Turner, Andy Lee, Colt McCoy, Charles Washington.
Shouldn’t be asking to much to re-sign all of these guys. At tight end Mo Alie-Cox intrigues me. Ertz need to agree to a team friendly deal.
9 – Calais Campbell reunion? Sure, let’s go. Other intriguing defensive tackle options include D.J. Jones from the Niners and B.J. Hill from the Bengals.
Another Cardinal that won’t return here .
10 – Stephon Gilmore seems like an obvious target. Great cornerback, but up in age, and a little injury prone, so he could easily hit the market, even though the Panthers traded for him just last season. I believe in Marco Wilson, but I prefer Byron Murphy in the slot, and thus it would be perfect to add an experience vet, that still have a high level, to the outside.
I think there’s a better chance we draft a CB which will be mistake. JC would have a hard time covering todays WR’s with our paltry pass rush. Welcome back Alford.
 
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Gandhi

Gandhi

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Gotta protect Kyler he’s proven even the slightest injury and he’s done

In a way I do agree, Finito, but on the other hand, the Bengals drafted a stud wide receiver over the stud offensive tackle, and they just went to the Super Bowl, even though their offensive line is horrible. You could argue that Joe Burrow is less fragile than Murray, but you could also argue that he came back after an ACL the previous season.

The NFL is simply not what it was. It is obviously important to have a good offensive line, but you don’t need a great one. You can win with an average offensive line.
 

Finito

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In a way I do agree, Finito, but on the other hand, the Bengals drafted a stud wide receiver over the stud offensive tackle, and they just went to the Super Bowl, even though their offensive line is horrible. You could argue that Joe Burrow is less fragile than Murray, but you could also argue that he came back after an ACL the previous season.

The NFL is simply not what it was. It is obviously important to have a good offensive line, but you don’t need a great one. You can win with an average offensive line.

Oh I disagree. If the Bengals had a better line they probably would of won the super bowl

You saw what happened to Mahomes against the Bucs

Given Kyler being as sensitive as he is we need all the help we can get
 
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Gandhi

Gandhi

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3. Corbett or Williams would be great but at what cost? I still think we can get some solid play from Justin Murray at RG if he comes in healthy but he had a back problem this year which is concerning. Josh Jones didn't look good at RG, I thought he looked better at RT when Beachum moved to LT. Justin Murray held his own at RT in 2019. Pugh imo needs to be replaced (not physical enough) with Kenyon Green if he's still on the board at #23.

I fully agree. I also have hopes for Justin Murray, and in reality, Humphries is the one offensive lineman I am most worried about. He needs to step up big time.

Cutting Philips would save quite a bit of cap money, 16.5 million I believe?

It is actually only a little more than four million they would save.

I know there's ways around the cap but a GM has to be smart about it, we don't have a smart GM lol. He can't draft, fixes the team with aging veterans that are injury prone because he can't draft & he has us in cap hell right now. The only thing I think he does well is makes good trades, just good enough to get our hopes up, only to be let down once again because his aging players break down mid season. Come on Steve Keim, prove me wrong lol.

I am not sure if I interpret you wrong, CFL, but the Cards are actually not in cap hell. They have one of the healthiest salary cap’s in the league with the second least dead money of all. The problem is that Keim uses the money wrong, but not at all that he cannot maneuver the cap.
 
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Gandhi

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Forget about it . Kyler is going to be our QB. The K boys will eventually burn and crash.

Let’s see, Slanidrac. :) I certainly agree that it is most likely, but there is rarely smoke without a fire, and the NFL have changed to the point where there are more wheeling-and-dealing than just a few years ago. Latest prove being with the Russell Wilson trade. Again, I think you will be right, but I would not completely rule out something happening.
 
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Gandhi

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Oh I disagree. If the Bengals had a better line they probably would of won the super bowl

You saw what happened to Mahomes against the Bucs

Given Kyler being as sensitive as he is we need all the help we can get
Well, you could also say that without Chase they don’t even get to the Super Bowl. :) I guess my point just is that both position groups can help a quarterback tremendously, and I just feel more comfortable with the offensive line than the wide receivers.
 

Totally_Red

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Maxx Williams is important, assuming he comes back healthy from the knee. He was a big part of early success. I'd sign him to a 2 year deal to spread out the cap hit.
 

slanidrac16

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Let’s see, Slanidrac. :) I certainly agree that it is most likely, but there is rarely smoke without a fire, and the NFL have changed to the point where there are more wheeling-and-dealing than just a few years ago. Latest prove being with the Russell Wilson trade. Again, I think you will be right, but I would not completely rule out something happening.
I’m just basing my opinion on the clubs latest decision with Keim and Kingsbury. I believe now they are all tied to the hip.
 

Chopper0080

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I agree that we will see more offensive talent added than defensive talent. Cutting Hicks is the first move, IMO, of the end for Vance. I imagine Keim is kinda done giving Vance players that Vance doesn't play, right or wrong. And the results were underwhelming when Keim let Vance do this thing.

That said, I won't be shocked if Kennard stays. Just not many edge guys on our depth chart. Maybe Keim takes an edge in round 1 because of the 1st round depth but giving Vance another 1st round edge player is risky.
 

Totally_Red

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I agree that we will see more offensive talent added than defensive talent. Cutting Hicks is the first move, IMO, of the end for Vance. I imagine Keim is kinda done giving Vance players that Vance doesn't play, right or wrong. And the results were underwhelming when Keim let Vance do this thing.

That said, I won't be shocked if Kennard stays. Just not many edge guys on our depth chart. Maybe Keim takes an edge in round 1 because of the 1st round depth but giving Vance another 1st round edge player is risky.
Yup! Outside of CB VJ refuses to play rookies. WR, G or CB look likely in round 1.
 

Cardsfaninlouky

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I fully agree. I also have hopes for Justin Murray, and in reality, Humphries is the one offensive lineman I am most worried about. He needs to step up big time.



It is actually only a little more than four million they would save.



I am not sure if I interpret you wrong, CFL, but the Cards are actually not in cap hell. They have one of the healthiest salary cap’s in the league with the second least dead money of all. The problem is that Keim uses the money wrong, but not at all that he cannot maneuver the cap.
I knew the dead money was lifted but I thought we were like barely flouting above water with the cap?
 
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Gandhi

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I knew the dead money was lifted but I thought we were like barely flouting above water with the cap?

Officially, you are right that they don’t have a lot of cap space, but first, they can easily get it, no problem. And second, it is actually not because their cap situation is unhealthy, but because Keim has not brought in good enough talent – and that way used the salary cap money wrong. It might be two sides of the same coin, though, and what you meant?
 
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Gandhi

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That said, I won't be shocked if Kennard stays. Just not many edge guys on our depth chart. Maybe Keim takes an edge in round 1 because of the 1st round depth but giving Vance another 1st round edge player is risky.

Chopper, you are right. Kennard will almost certainly stay as he restructured his contract yesterday.
 
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Gandhi

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I’m just basing my opinion on the clubs latest decision with Keim and Kingsbury. I believe now they are all tied to the hip.

I am not so sure. Erik Burkhardt is the agent for both Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, yet just a few days before Kingsbury’s extension, Burkhardt wrote a clear threat to the Cards about Murray. That doesn’t seem logical to me if everything is rosy.
 

Cardsfaninlouky

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Officially, you are right that they don’t have a lot of cap space, but first, they can easily get it, no problem. And second, it is actually not because their cap situation is unhealthy, but because Keim has not brought in good enough talent – and that way used the salary cap money wrong. It might be two sides of the same coin, though, and what you meant?
It is.
 
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