1st wave of Free Agency (most likely) done - now what?

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
The Cardinals Free Agency signings after this first week hasn't exactly been a splash, but it has been exactly what I expected.

I think Monti's vision/approach is clear. The draft is the primary source of star quality. Be VERY selective in who you want to give big money in Free Agency and then otherwise use free agency to build depth of the team.

Based on this, the first week has been a success in my book. No big names for monster deals. With the money added in Salary Cap this season, almost all teams were in a position, where they could keep their star players and realisticly that left little chance for Monti to attract any of the top players (just look what Raiders had to pay for Wilkins and Giants for Burns). And realistically, I think this team is 1 year away to start investing in big names. Instead, the focus was on depth and I think it was a solid job done.

The two tackles are both 2nd/3rd quality in a DT room. The guys from Minnesota played 20% of snaps last year and is really slated in the 3rd rotation. Paired with Collier and Stills, that is a CLEAR upgrade of the position. And it doesn't corner the team into NOT taking a DT if one falls in the draft. This draft is (on paper) one of the best in recent history and incredible strong at WR, QB, OT, DT and CB.

Murthy-Bunting is a solid #2CB and again pairs well with Williams and Clark, who both showed potential as rookies. I not surprised that this was the level of starter, that was brought in. Again it give the team the possibility to take a CB in the draft. AND look at the Free Agents available. Plenty of solid and older starters available for the 2nd wave of free agency post draft.

The signings I like the most are OT Williams and LB Wilson. Williams on a 2 year deal was a stroke of genius. It fixes a need at OT and since the deal was only 2 years (and easy to get out of after one) again it gives the option to draft a OT with one of the first three picks. Let the rookie start a G and then slide out once Williams exits.

Wilson is a very underrated signing. He has started a lot of games in his career and is a very good passing down LB - both in coverage and as a blitzer. A perfect fit as the team was hurting badly for this skillset after White got injured.

Ritter was a steal. Look at the market for back-up QBs. Exchanging a talented player that you were never able to figure out how to use and/or pushed out by Dortch in exchange for a reasonably talented back-up on a cheap contract.

Overall, I think the low bar of the team was raised significantly with these signings. But now what? The team still need CB, WR and Edge rushers, but I do not foresee any major signings before the draft.

The draft is VERY deep this year and we have 3 picks in the top 35 and 6 picks in the first 90. Monti is not afraid to deal picks and trade up or down and I'm sure he will move around to get a top quality player(s). The skill level that can be had at #35 at WR, DT, OT and CB would normally go around pick 20 in a normal draft, but we do not know which position will fall yet. If Monti let the draft fall to him, mostly likely he will end up with the #1 player in the draft and two players that would be mid-1st rounders in a normal draft. That is the waiting game.

He has to let that play out.

The remaining holes post-draft will be filled the second wave of free agency.

There are plenty of older edge rushers and CBs to be had in the 2nd wave of free agency on high-price, short term deals. The market for WR has been very slow in free agency and we know that older WRs are the most typical cut post 1 June.

I'm sure players will be added in the 2nd wave, but the main thing here is that the signings in the 1st wave gives the team flexibility to use a high draft pick, sign an older veteran in the second wave or just accept that the low bar has been raised on several positions and that is good enough without signing more players.

I expect the first three picks to be used on one of four positions - WR, OT, CB or DT. Those positions are just so depth, so use that to "buy cheap". Whatever position is not drafted with the first 3 picks can be added later. And I definately expect Monti to use the 3x3rd rounders to move up to get the player he wants in the first.

WR - MHJ or Odenze with an older veteran added later
OT - Not a huge need with Williams on board, but there are so many quality players in the draft. Draft one because you cannot have enough depth.
CB - Draft if there is a top player avaialble, otherwise add in the 2nd wave.
DT - Draft if there is a top player available, otherwise accept that you have a better DT position, while lacking elite talent.
Edge - Draft in the unlikely event that one drops in the draft due to run on the positions above. Otherwise add a veteran on a short term contract.
 
Last edited:

Stout

Hold onto the ball, Murray!
Joined
Dec 30, 2002
Posts
38,381
Reaction score
21,301
Location
Pittsburgh, PA--Enemy territory!
Good, in-depth write-up. I think your vision is very much Monti's vision.

My simple question is this: What is Monti going to do with all that extra cap money he purposefully didn't spend last year because we were supposed to spend it this year? I don't want to hear we're rolling it over yet again or we're keeping our powder dry. We can sign more and better players than we have, without crippling our cap in the future. Why haven't we and why shouldn't we?
 

kerouac9

Klowned by Keim
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
37,244
Reaction score
27,225
Location
Gilbert, AZ
Murthy-Bunting is a solid #2CB and again pairs well with Williams and Clark, who both showed potential as rookies.
Do you mean the Kei’Trel Clark who was benched 2/3 of the season and god his job took by Starling Thomas II?

Can’t be serious
 
OP
OP
BACH

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
Mack Wilson hasn’t started more than eight games in a season since his rookie year.
But doesn't change the fact that he has started a lot of games.

And, duh! He has change to a 3rd down LB during his career... He only plays about 50% of the snaps and not listed as a starter in that role.
 
OP
OP
BACH

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
Do you mean the Kei’Trel Clark who was benched 2/3 of the season and god his job took by Starling Thomas II?

Can’t be serious
I mean that 6th round rookie CB that was supposed to play no role and ended up starting and playing decent for a starter in 4-5 games and looked decent playing in a reduced role later in the season.
But from what you write, you can appearently only should measured a rookie 6th rounder by his ability to be a good starter from day 1, or?
 
Last edited:

kerouac9

Klowned by Keim
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
37,244
Reaction score
27,225
Location
Gilbert, AZ
But doesn't change the fact that he has started a lot of games.

And, duh! He has change to a 3rd down LB during his career... He only plays about 50% of the snaps and not listed as a starter in that role.
In his five-year career he’s started less than two seasons’ worth of games.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

I'm better than Mulli!
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Posts
60,876
Reaction score
53,032
Location
SoCal
In his five-year career he’s started less than two seasons’ worth of games.
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.
 

QuebecCard

ASFN Addict
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Posts
5,184
Reaction score
7,338
Location
North of the 49th.
Good, in-depth write-up. I think your vision is very much Monti's vision.

My simple question is this: What is Monti going to do with all that extra cap money he purposefully didn't spend last year because we were supposed to spend it this year? I don't want to hear we're rolling it over yet again or we're keeping our powder dry. We can sign more and better players than we have, without crippling our cap in the future. Why haven't we and why shouldn't we?

Patience, grasshopper.
 
OP
OP
BACH

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
Good, in-depth write-up. I think your vision is very much Monti's vision.

My simple question is this: What is Monti going to do with all that extra cap money he purposefully didn't spend last year because we were supposed to spend it this year? I don't want to hear we're rolling it over yet again or we're keeping our powder dry. We can sign more and better players than we have, without crippling our cap in the future. Why haven't we and why shouldn't we?
Well, I cannot answer to what Monti qualifies of spending. Maybe he considers what already has been done as spending?

There is about 18M to spend after the rookie pool. He could sign Clowney and 3-4 back-ups post draft. Would two starting DTs, a #2 CB, a starting LT and a starting edge rusher be considered spending?
 

Mulli

...
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Posts
52,529
Reaction score
4,584
Location
Generational
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.
Fan is short for fanatic.:) I would say people are excited because it is fun to be relatively excited.
 

Krangodnzr

Captain of Team Murray
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Posts
35,463
Reaction score
32,249
Location
Orange County, CA
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.
I think some are starved for actual NFL roster talent after the past few years...
 
OP
OP
BACH

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.
I think based on what you expect. No one is expecting a Roquan Smith. But he was a very good coverage LB playing about 50% of snaps on a GOOD defense (Pats D was #7 in the league). He fits the biggest weakness of the entire team last year well.
 

kerouac9

Klowned by Keim
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
37,244
Reaction score
27,225
Location
Gilbert, AZ
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.

I'm withholding judgement on all these dudes. I was pretty wrong about White and Froholdt last year; Monti has mostly earned the benefit of the doubt on these individual cases.

But that doesn't really free us from a need to actually make factual statements. If Mack Wilson had been good, he probably would have played more. He got fewer snaps in each of his first three years with the Browns; with New England last season he played more than half the downs in a game once.
 

Mulli

...
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Posts
52,529
Reaction score
4,584
Location
Generational
I'm withholding judgement on all these dudes. I was pretty write about White and Froholdt last year; Monti has mostly earned the benefit of the doubt on these individual cases.

But that doesn't really free us from a need to actually make factual statements. If Mack Wilson had been good, he probably would have played more. He got fewer snaps in each of his first three years with the Browns; with New England last season he played more than half the downs in a game once.
wut

Why can I not make meatball koolaid statements again?
 

kerouac9

Klowned by Keim
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
37,244
Reaction score
27,225
Location
Gilbert, AZ
His highlight tape looks good, but I’ve been a little surprised at the reception he’s gotten here. A backup from a bad team. Now maybe he just needed seasoning and he’s ready to step up his game - and I recognize we need his coverage skills - but I’m still just a bit perplexed at how excited some are about this signing.

Yeah. But all highlight tapes look good. That's why they're highlights. Long at the deranged posts on the Tonga thread.

I think some are starved for actual NFL roster talent after the past few years...

Yeah, but it's not clear that this guy is that much better than Krys Barnes or Owen Pappoe right now. Probably better than the latter; likely about the same as the former but just bad at stopping the run not covering people.

I think based on what you expect. No one is expecting a Roquan Smith. But he was a very good coverage LB playing about 50% of snaps on a GOOD defense (Pats D was #7 in the league). He fits the biggest weakness of the entire team last year well.

He played 27% of the snaps in the Pats defense.
 
OP
OP
BACH

BACH

Superbowl, Homeboy!
Joined
May 14, 2002
Posts
5,739
Reaction score
939
Location
A rotten place...
In my book the round you were drafted doesn’t matter after rookie year. You can play or you can’t. I no longer care where you were drafted.
I disagree. He came from Liberty College and drafted in the 6th round. Steep learning curve and I do not expect a player like that to be able to produce from day 1. I like the potential shown and think he could easily develop into a solid #3 CB
 

kerouac9

Klowned by Keim
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
37,244
Reaction score
27,225
Location
Gilbert, AZ
I disagree. He came from Liberty College and drafted in the 6th round. Steep learning curve and I do not expect a player like that to be able to produce from day 1. I like the potential shown and think he could easily develop into a solid #3 CB
BRO WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Clark played three seasons at Louisville in the ACC.
 
Top