Pick Your Poison

Harry

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I’ve already indicated I see a major need to augment the personnel. For a near playoff team, there’s much change that must be accomplished. Keep in mind the Cards will face a significantly more difficult schedule next season. As The Red Queen said, “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" It won’t be good enough to stand pat. The Cards will have to significantly improve just to contend.

One of the choices that’s always critical is how do you balance the draft and free agency. Also is there a trade to be had, maybe involving draft picks? Then there’s the issue of immediate needs versus securing a future.

Looking to the draft the Cards gave up their 4th round pick in the Hopkins trade and their 6th in the Golden deal. The Cards are not projected to receive any compensatory picks. I have no problem with getting players for picks from this draft but the Cards must strategize carefully with so many holes and so few picks. First some sources are recommending the Cards take a first round edge rusher to guard against Jones leaving. I don’t think the Cards can afford to do that. It will, however, give Reddick more leverage. Re-signing him is a near imperative. I also don’t like trading down in this draft. Scouting was hard and the further down you go in this pool the more uncertain evaluations become. Of course should the Cards’ first round pick come up with no one on their board worth that pick, you do move down, but don’t drop far and only move if you’re paid over slot. Otherwise just take your best shot.

The next question to ask is what position will likely have viable selections you can pass on in round 1. I realize free agency will alter this landscape, but with the certain cap reduction and so many holes to fill, signing significant impact players in free agency will be challenging. The Cards can cut about $10-12 million, but that puts their likely cap space in the 30s. Luckily more than half the teams will be in worse shape. About $5 million will go to the rookie pool. I think Reddick & Campbell will also cost about $5 million each. The Cards only have 4 RFAs. Only Gardeck might draw some interest. Arnold, K Peterson and Blackson may not make the top 51 contracts. They should all be less than a million. Hundley and Peko will be a little over $1 million. Peters & Golden should be sign-able for $3 million each. This means that if the Cards agree on my “keeps” your looking at a little over $10 million for free agency. That does buy you a few players but no big names.

With only 5 draft picks, positions that require multiple players would make sense to target in free agency. Unless they keep Peterson, CB will be one such position. One thing I like to target is players coming off injuries that are not likely permanently debilitating. Shaquill Griffin fought nagging injuries all season. He had several outstanding games and shows the skills needed to take a major step forward. I also like the idea of weakening a team you’ll play twice. He timed 4.38 at the Combine, so he has #1 CB speed. Sign him.

WR is the other slot that needs major help. Often the best options here are late releases, so the Cards may be patient. The good, blossoming young receivers are all going to cost too much. We’re looking for a project. Zay Jones was once an impact receiver. He’s still young and has all the needed skills. Admittedly 2 teams have failed to return him to his former status. Still he’s affordable and maybe Hopkins’ presence can inspire him. I wish Murray was more of a leader. That would help. Another target position might be RB. James Conner attracts me. A cancer survivor, he failed to utilize his potential last season. As recent as 2018 he was one of the top RBs in the league. You might get him for a first year salary of $4 million with incentives. He can catch the ball and cuts back well. He fits this offense.

Turning to the draft, I’d go CB if Farley or Surtain falls as a few predict. I would be reluctant to move up to get them. Horn, a popular choice, is more of a gamble, but you know I value legacy players. His game speed is not ideal, likely he will be timed about 4.45. He’s not really a ballhawk and I see him more as a number 2 corner than 1. He’s more of a press corner who willing supports against the run. I don’t like him at the Cards’ Draft spot. Certainly adding him to Peterson and Murphy would leave speed receivers free to blaze. Also if you’re going to take a CB who’s not a number one I’d take Elijah Molden if he falls to round 3. Like Horn he’s a legacy player with a similar skill set. However he’s more of a ballhawk and a blitzer. This flexibility makes him a better choice. Of course it’s always possible one of the top corners drops somewhat. If you want a corner badly, the Cards could offer their 3rd to move up to 12, that might get a number one corner. Sure a CB in early round one I is not regard as a sure thing. An edge rusher or OT would be a safer choice. This is all very early speculation. Much will change, especially between now and the draft. However, I expect to see a significant amount of action from the Cards. If I don’t see it, you won’t enjoy next season very much.
 

juza76

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Zay Jones had 1 td in 2 season, not the player that can make an impact

We don't need the n4, n5 receiver, we need the wr2.
Kenny Golliday would be the best option but probably too expensive
I'd go with a fast dinamic playmaker like Curtis Samuel who didn't reach his best and can be signed for a reasonable deal
Then I would draft a tall receiver in the 3th round
 

Finito

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So pretty much sign a bunch of guys who aren’t good? Got it
 

Harry

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Zay Jones had 1 td in 2 season, not the player that can make an impact

We don't need the n4, n5 receiver, we need the wr2.
Kenny Golliday would be the best option but probably too expensive
I'd go with a fast dinamic playmaker like Curtis Samuel who didn't reach his best and can be signed for a reasonable deal
Then I would draft a tall receiver in the 3th round
Spotrac, who’s been reasonably accurate projects Samuel will cost about $12 million a year for 4 years. That would be the only FA. BTW he had less than 700 yds in 16 games in 2019. Kirk had more yards in 2018 & 2019. He be a big gamble off 1 decent season. My guys a gamble, but a cheap one.
 

Harry

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So pretty much sign a bunch of guys who aren’t good? Got it
Not sure what you think of PFF, but they have 3 defensive players above average and one’s a FA. Of course it’s just my opinion but these are mostly mediocre players. Sure economically you have to bring a bunch of them back. Of course the cap means no teams of all-stars, but compare them to the Rams whom the Cards will play twice next year. Go player to player and tell me which Cards you’d take. I’m trying to suggest building a power team that can compete for the Super Bowl. I know lots of teams settle for the playoffs. I’m thinking excellence. I am aiming high.
 

football karma

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another legacy player in the draft i like ( but not at #16 )

Asante Samuel, Jr, CB Fla St

only 5-10, but plays man and is competitive
 

Finito

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Not sure what you think of PFF, but they have 3 defensive players above average and one’s a FA. Of course it’s just my opinion but these are mostly mediocre players. Sure economically you have to bring a bunch of them back. Of course the cap means no teams of all-stars, but compare them to the Rams whom the Cards will play twice next year. Go player to player and tell me which Cards you’d take. I’m trying to suggest building a power team that can compete for the Super Bowl. I know lots of teams settle for the playoffs. I’m thinking excellence. I am aiming high.

I’m talking about your free agents.

it’s pretty much like guys on the Dolphins board saying you know we should sign Andy Isabella he hasn’t really been given a chance.

nobody in this division scares me going forward
 

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Per Overthecap.com -- Cards have $13mm in "effective" cap space and $24 mm in space overall -- with the diff between the two being rookie pool, filing out a roster, RFAs et. So, i am going to start with effective, and assume that the diff between overall and effective accounts for moves like bringing back Arnold and Gardeck, etc.

from the $13mm -- cutting Alford (+$7.5), Kennard ($4.3) and Gilbert ($1) can bring that total up to ~$26mm

thats not bad. Hopkins, Humphries, Philips and Baker all have contracts that can have salary converted to bonus to free up money next year -- so you can squeeze a bit more if needed.

the team cant go crazy - but in an environment where 13 teams have negative effective cap space and will have to put players on the market, depressing prices: they ought to be able to fill holes.

not all with big $ guys, but with guys that can play -- and they will go into the season needing whomever is their 1st round pick to come in and play at a decent level
 

slanidrac16

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We have to draft a cb. Even if we keep Peterson, look what’s behind him. We can’t keep plugging in 35 year old guys at that position. Please don’t even mention the name Alford.

if i could trade CJ with a deal that could be defined as overcompensation I’d consider that.

I like the idea of Conner but money will be scarce and I’d rather draft one but Not a seventh round project.

I’m betting we don’t see much change in the Wr room. We will be told Our new “ super coach” will get drastic improvements from Kirk and Issabella. Somewhere we have to fine a #2 Wr.
 

Harry

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I’m talking about your free agents.

it’s pretty much like guys on the Dolphins board saying you know we should sign Andy Isabella he hasn’t really been given a chance.

nobody in this division scares me going forward
The LA defense scares me plus the Cards record against them.
 

Harry

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another legacy player in the draft i like ( but not at #16 )

Asante Samuel, Jr, CB Fla St

only 5-10, but plays man and is competitive
FSU was so bad he was hard to read. That’s what I mean about this year. He looked better previously but it must have been brutal to play for FSU this year. I don’t see him round 1. I’d like him a bunch if he fell to 3 but that’s unlikely. Tough call; there are things about him to like.
 

Harry

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Per Overthecap.com -- Cards have $13mm in "effective" cap space and $24 mm in space overall -- with the diff between the two being rookie pool, filing out a roster, RFAs et. So, i am going to start with effective, and assume that the diff between overall and effective accounts for moves like bringing back Arnold and Gardeck, etc.

from the $13mm -- cutting Alford (+$7.5), Kennard ($4.3) and Gilbert ($1) can bring that total up to ~$26mm

thats not bad. Hopkins, Humphries, Philips and Baker all have contracts that can have salary converted to bonus to free up money next year -- so you can squeeze a bit more if needed.

the team cant go crazy - but in an environment where 13 teams have negative effective cap space and will have to put players on the market, depressing prices: they ought to be able to fill holes.

not all with big $ guys, but with guys that can play -- and they will go into the season needing whomever is their 1st round pick to come in and play at a decent level

The question is who gets cut by whom to create cap space? Who retires? The Cards typically play it very straight with the cap. I think I laid out the dollars accurately, but this will be a mess sorting these caps & cuts.
 

Harry

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Reddick for $5 million? Not going to happen
I debated that one in my mind. He had some great games and others in which he made no impact. Also the caps are going down, plus this is an excellent edge draft. If he signs a one year deal and puts up a big year his dollars could get much bigger than I think will be out there this year. You’re right that Spotrac has him quite a bit higher. Of course they have Golden at $13 and I think that’s crazy. This is a weird edge market. Only time will tell.
 

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