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

dreamcastrocks

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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?
Pay the $15M in dead cap to players no longer on the team?
Zach Ertz$5,000,000
J.J. Watt$4,800,000
Rodney Hudson$3,520,000
Rondale Moore$598,955
Myjai Sanders$424,510
Marco Wilson$162,594
TOTAL$14,750,534

I realize that that money has already been accounted for. Just wanted to point out that we are bad at managing the cap anyway. No wonder why we aren't spending to the max.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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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.
I’m in same boat (but I liked white signing). So I give monti benefit of doubt with these signings, but that doesn’t mean I’m excited for them. Just more, “okay monti I see what you uncovered with fro last year, let’s see what you got here!”
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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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
Like it said, after his rookie year.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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My bad. He transfered from liberty to Louisville.

Still stand by my statement. You Cannot expect a late rounder to be NFL ready by Day 1
Literally no one expected that. What I do expect is for a player to evidence improvement over the season. He got less PT by years end. Not the trend we should desire.
 

Crimson Warrior

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Bert Berry? The guard from niners?

Wow, jumping into the time machine on Bertrand Berry! haha. He was what, circa 2003? So twenty years ago? :)

He was a great, great addition though! I still remember him waving a big Cardinals flag around Estadio Azteca and shouting "we coming back baby!" after the Josh McCown Cardinals beat the 49ers in Mexico City. I think that got us to 1-3 on the season! lol.
 
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Shane

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Pay the $15M in dead cap to players no longer on the team?
Zach Ertz$5,000,000
J.J. Watt$4,800,000
Rodney Hudson$3,520,000
Rondale Moore$598,955
Myjai Sanders$424,510
Marco Wilson$162,594
TOTAL$14,750,534

I realize that that money has already been accounted for. Just wanted to point out that we are bad at managing the cap anyway. No wonder why we aren't spending to the max.
Can somebody smarter than me tell me why we’re still paying money for Rondel moore shouldn't the Falcons be on hook for all that now?
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Hmmm... but injuries so prevalent in the NFL and you need capable, inexpensive depth.

I'm not saying you're saying "Clark can either be a starter or he can't", I'm just saying that he probably showed, by a fairly comfortable margin, enough to be on the 53 man roster for 2024.

And, I think I would be okay if for 2024 he's our dime back and back up at CB2. How about that Ouchie? Is that all of that fair/reasonable?
I can’t answer that. I know he started a few games and then was benched. I believe not even seeing the field for a few games. I know he played at end of season but I don’t know how many snaps he got or how he graded out in that final stretch. I know it wasn’t impactful to my eye. But my eye has been wrong before.

The kid flashed some early but then disappeared. I just think it’s premature to say he’s part of the “talent” on this team. And mind you, that’s not stating he’s a bust.
 

dreamcastrocks

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Can somebody smarter than me tell me why we’re still paying money for Rondel moore shouldn't the Falcons be on hook for all that now?
A condition of the trade?
 

dreamcastrocks

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Shane

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It's the pro-rated amount of the guys' signing bonuses. Ridder will have a dead cap charge of $540k in 2024 for Atlanta, per OTC.
So basically a push it seems I guess
 

Krangodnzr

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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.
I think what the Cardinals have done is filled out the meat of the team with average to decent players. This is a team that barely scratches 7 wins and that's with everything right.

The plan is obviously to build the team through the draft. What I fear is that the Cardinals take the Steelers approach where they never add any major free agents. Relying on the draft means that if you have holes, it sometimes takes a few years for the players to be good enough

I think the OL looks like a strength on the offense. RB room looks full enough that I don't think there is much of a need there. TE could use a blocker, but is solid with receiving options. WR looks like the team MIGHT have a low end #2 in Wilson, an okay slot in Dortch. The defense really only has safety as a strength. The DL still isn't good, but it's not the Trainwreck it was last year either. SMB is a solid #2 CB, but CB still has major question marks. I think ILB is solid. Edge has a bunch of dudes who are best are good #3 edge rushers., with the hope that guys like Ojulari, Dimukeje, and Cam Thomas can take a step forward.

Based on my evaluation the biggest needs are WR and Edge. I think it will be a big mistake to not walk away with MHJ or Odunze. Both are big, strong receivers who can be bell cow receivers. I think there is a 50/50 chance Monti kicks the tires on one of the remaining FAs, but I won't be shocked if he doesn't. I think #27 is probably an edge but I won't be shocked if the Cardinals go OL or CB. The Cardinals are truly in a position where they can go BPA and it won't be wrong (other than ILB and TE).
 

ASUCHRIS

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How many times, just on the Cardinals, has going after pricey free agents worked out?
Are people just memory-holing JJ Watt? The guy who came over and transformed our entire defense? It's almost like having some pro-bowl level talent around makes the jobs for everyone else easier!
 

Mulli

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Are people just memory-holing JJ Watt? The guy who came over and transformed our entire defense? It's almost like having some pro-bowl level talent around makes the jobs for everyone else easier!
This happened?
 

MadCardDisease

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Are people just memory-holing JJ Watt? The guy who came over and transformed our entire defense? It's almost like having some pro-bowl level talent around makes the jobs for everyone else easier!

Hard to forget about JJ Watt when he is still on the books ($4.8M) for the Cardinals two years after retiring.
 

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