RM's Free Agency Primer

RugbyMuffin

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For once my current busy schedule came as a blessing. The later I wait to write up a Free Agency Primer post the better. The last time I checked the transactions ticker was 11:42 EST, so this is written for what was available and known at that time.

This will be a quite an interesting free agency period for the Cardinals and it already has been. Darnell Dockett has been signed by the 49'ers. Dan Williams is going to be allowed to test the market, and Alameda Ta'amu has not been tendered, leaving the Cardinals with zero nose tackles on the roster. Not to mention we still have players like Drew Stanton, John Carlson, Lyle Sendlein, Lorenzo Alexander, and Jerraud Powers, that could all be cut for some cap savings, and least we not forget Carson Palmer is willing to restructure. The Cardinals said they will be aggressive in free agency, and they are setup to do just that. We cannot look at the current number cap space number for the Cardinals as the money they have, because they could cut some of the players lists above for more, if need be.

Speaking of need, in order of importance, I think the current needs for the Cardinals are:
1. Pass Rusher
2. Cornerback
3. Inside Linebacker
4. Nose Tackle
5. Guard/Center
6. Running Back
7. Tight End
8. 5th Wide Reciever/Punt Returner/Kick Returner
9. Inside Linebacker Depth
10. Outside Linebacker Depth
11. Defensive Back depth
12. Tight End depth

I will setup this Free Agency Primer by going through each position and note if there is a need, why there is a need or not, and list what free agents, in my opinion, the Cardinals will or should go after, in my opinion of course. As usual, I am expecting and looking forward to everyone's comments.

Quarterback:

Need: None

Carson Palmer is going to be the starter, and unless something crazy happens Drew Stanton will back him up. I highly doubt the Cardinals will sign someone to compete with Logan Thomas. The only quarterback movement on this roster, if any at all, will be during the draft.

** EDIT: Carson Palmer did restructure his contract, freeing up more cap space. -per rotoworld


Running Back:

Need: A 2nd string, big back to run between the tackles, and compliment Andre Ellington.

Andre Ellington is the featured back for the Cardinals, his explosiveness and receiving skills make him a dangerous weapon, but he cannot be an every down back, as it was proved last season. Stepfan Taylor has his role on this team, and I expect him to be on the roster again next season. I believe Kerwynn Williams has earned his place on this team, and on this roster as Ellington's backup, for Ellington's role. I personally like Robert Hughes for the role he fits for this team, but while I like him, I think he has to earn his spot on the roster again this year, and is not a lock. Marion Grice, and Zach Bauman will not make it out of camp, IMO.

Running Back Free Agent Targets:

- Mike Ingram:
Ingram would be the best fit for the Cardinals. He has not been overused in New Orleans, has good size, and speed. The biggest issue with Ingram is there is some hype behind him so his price may be too steep.

- Steven Ridley:
He is very much like Rashad Mendenhall or Jonathan Dwyer. Just a very solid back that will be able to get positive yards, and can pass block and catch the ball.

- Darren McFadden:
A healthy McFadden would be an amazing addition, but I think the Cardinals will be a telling situation about what kind of player McFadden is. You would think Palmer, and Veldheer would be asked about McFadden, and that McFadden would have been linked to the Cardinals, and so far it has been silent. There has always been something about McFadden that makes me question his game. Yet, if he come here and plays to his potential he would be a great asset.

- Frank Gore:
Don't tell me he is too old. Please. Any Cardinals fan knows what Frank Gore can do. I personally would have him at the top of the list, but I feel that would incite long debates about running backs, and I would have a hard time proving why Gore is the best back out there, so I will concede and put him here. Gore can do it all, and has AMAZING endurance for a back his age. I would sign him to a 2 year contract without thinking twice, and he would be a perfect fit for the Cardinals, in my opinion, obviously.

- Ben Tate:
The Cardinals put a claim on him when he was waived, so why would they not look at Tate again ? Tate is very much like Steve Ridley but less skilled. Yet, again he would fill the role the Cardinals are looking for and would do just enough to get the job that needs to be done, done.

- Roy Helu:
I put him on the list because he is a jack of all trades master of none type back. He is not a big back but runs between the tackles, blocks, and catches really well. Can Helu take the beating as the back running between the tackles, I think he can, and if he gets beat up like Ellington did.....who cares. Don't get me wrong, I want a healthy player, but if the Cardinals end up not being able to land a running back right away, Helu may be a good late pickup, and a very, very low salary, thus no risk.




Wide Receiver:

Need: 5th string wide receiver that can field punts, and kick offs

Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, and Jaron Brown is a very nice group of wide receivers. I cannot see where the Cardinals would want to mess around with their top four receivers. Letting Ginn go was an easy decision. Yet, would will field punts ? Brittan Golden is still on the roster for next season and fields punts so while it would be great to bring in someone better, there is a player that can at least catch a punt on the roster. I do not think Travis Harvey, or Ryan Spadola can return punts, but to be honest I didn't care to check.

Wide Receiver Free Agent Targets:

- Eddie Royal:
Royal is the only player I can see that would be worth bringing in and signing for the 5th wide receiver role. He can field punts, and has always been a player that can produce from time to time. Plus he where John Brown is more of a pure speed receiver, Royal is more of a quicker than fast receiver that the Cardinals currently don't have. Royal could be had for the minimum so there would not be much of a risk.



Tight End:

Need: An upgrade over John Carlson, and some competition for depth at the position

The Cardinals situation is not horrible (relative to the Cardinal's history at the position), but it is not great either. Rob Housler is gone, that is pretty much certain. Carlson is solid but nothing special, and Troy Niklas has a way to go in the passing game before he can be seen any more than a role player. Darren Fells is a very interesting player, since he may have found a nice role on the team as the 4th TE and goal line specialist because of his improved blocking and receiving skill. I don't know much about Ted Bolser but I doubt I will need to past camp time.

Tight End Free Agent Targets:

- Jordan Cameron:
Another good player with concussion issues, and really bad ones. He may not have that much of a career left, but if the Cardinals can sign him to the right kind of contract I think he is worth the risk. An adequate blocker, and a very good receiver Cameron would round out the Cardinals tight end position nicely. Yet, is a huge risk.

- Jermain Gresham:
A big bodied tight end with OK receiving skill, and an adequate blocker. I think his name is better than his game, but he would be an upgrade for the Cardinals. It is a mystery what the market will be for Gresham since he has never played to his potential but played well enough for teams who have a need a tight end to give him a look.

- James Casey:
The Cardinals have already brought Casey in for a look, and kicked his tires. Yet, did not sign him. I don't know why people like James Casey, he never amounted to much in Philadelphia, is not much a of block, lacks size, and I think the only times he makes plays are when the Cardinals played the Eagles. He is on the list because the Cardinals brought him in, but he would not be on this list if that event didn't happen. I don't think he brings much to the table for the Cardinals.

- Vigil Green:
This is a player that has been talked about on ASFN, and I took a look for the reason. No doubt the potential is there, yet with Julius Thomas leaving Denver, Green would be easy for the Broncos to sign if his ability matched his hype. I keep him on the list as a sleeper but there is a reason why he hasn't seen the field, and the Cardinals have plenty of "solid" tight ends, so why bring in Green when I don't think he beats out Carlson. ***EDIT: The Broncos are trying to re-sign Green to a multi-year contract, and there are a few teams looking at him as well, LOL, shows what I know.

- Lance Kendricks:
The tight ends I list for this point on would be brought in for battle for depth at the position. Kendricks is just a good, solid, tight end. He can catch a pass need be, but he can block very well, has good size, and again is just a solid player for his position.

- Bear Pascoe:
That Cardinals love to bring in an extra tackle on offensive. Jonathan Cooper, and Bradley Sowell usually do the job, but why not just have a huge tight end that blocks really, really well. Bear Pascoe is an enormous tight end that blocks really well. The surprise with Pascoe is that the Giants used him in the backfield as well. I have liked Pascoe out of college, and hope the Cardinals bring him in because I think his skill would translate very well in Arians' offense.

- Daniel Fells:
Yes, this is Darren's brother, and yes, I partly put him on the list just because it would be cool to have Fells bookend the offensive line. Yet, beyond that Daniel Fells has been mirroring his brother's play for the Giants. Daniel developed some good hands, and good blocking skills in New York, and if Darren has done so well, why not have two tall tight ends with OK hands, and good blocking ?




Offensive Line:

Need: Upgrade the interior line, Guard and Center.

I will start off with a sidenote, I is nice not to have to write up something about how this team will never accomplish a thing in the up coming season because of the state of the offensive line. While the interior line needs to be up graded, it is a far cry from years past where Cardinals fans were just looking for a player who can block someone, our current backups would be starters in years past. I won't even get into the offensive tackle position which is now a strength for this team. Veldheer has been slighted by the media, in my opinion, because he played extremely well last season. Bobby Massie has turned into exactly what he was advertised when he as drafted. A good starting right tackle. The Cardinals already re-signed Bradley Sowell, whom I love as our backup swing tackle. For a second string left tackle in the NFL, I cannot see how you can find a better backup in free agency, and remember, he beat out Levi Brown for the job at one point. Thus the focus this offseason will revolve around upgrading a relatively disappointing interior line. Lyle Sendlein, Ted Larson, Jonathan Cooper, Earl Watford, and Anthony Steen. Not to mention Paul Fanaika who will be allowed to test the market, and who the Cardinals are trying to find an upgrade to. How many guards have been brought in over the last two years to try and solidify this position. Sendlein has not been, and never really was a great center, and as soon as a better option is obtained, I see him being cut. Jonthan Cooper is currently a backup in my eyes, and that leaves Earl Watford on the outside of the roster looking in. Ted Larson.....I don't know what the plan is with Larson. Maybe he competes with Cooper for the right guard spot, or competes with whomever the center will be for the starting center job. Larson will be back, Cooper will be back, but the rest is up in the air.

Center/Guard Free Agent Targets:

- Justin Blalock:
Not really sure why there has been no talk of Blalock for the Cardinals. He has good size, good feet, and has played in the league for a while now. I know Atlanta's offensive line has not been good, but from what I saw it was a problem with the tackles not the guard. Blalock has the ability to be the type of guard the Cardinals like, since he has good athletic ability. Not to mention, I think he can be signed to a contract that would not break the bank.

-Mike Iupati:
This is the big name guard, and the player touted as the best interior lineman available in free agency. My problem with Iupati is that he will command a huge contract, and has serious durability issues. From what I have noticed, Iupati spends a lot of time on the sideline. There is no doubting his ability to run block, and his ability to move, but his pass blocking is just average in my opinion. Too many red flags for me, but he is the top player out there, or at least that is what is being said.

- Clint Boling:
I don't know why the Bengals have not one a Super Bowl in the last two years, they are just snake bitten I guess. It seems they have two of everything at each position but quarterback. That being said, with some good guards already on the roster, news is that the Bengals are trying very hard to re-sign Boling. I had NO idea about this guy, until I read some comments on ASFN, and look into the situation. He is by far better that anything we have in house currently. 310 lbs, 6'5", and 25 years old. Block well in the running game, and well in the passing game. Not to mention he was high regarded in the 2011 draft class. His market value will be the key to whether the Cardinals look at Boling who would be a great pickup, and just like the left tackle spot and Veldheer, would be using free agency to fill a need, and at 25 years old, for a long time.

- Steve Wizniewski:
I am not sure about Wizniewski, but if the Cardinals are looking at him, then he has the respect of Palmer, Veldheer, Goodwin, Arians, and Keim, so that is good enough for me. From what I have seen he is better than Sendlien, but by how much, I am not really sure. I don't see the logic in cutting Sendlein and then signing Wizniewski to a higher contract. I don't think he would be that big of an upgrade. I think it is just me, stuck on the belief his name is greater than his game. Yet, he is 25 years old, 6'3", and 315 lbs. Again, another type of player that could fit into Arizona's scheme nicely. For what it is worth, signing Boling and Wizniewski this offseason to fair contracts, and let what is currently on the roster fight it out for the final guard spot would be a good bet to field a line that would rival any in the league and it would be young talent.

- A.Q. Shipley:
I have no idea why the Cardinals want this player, other than Arians knows him, and wants him for depth purposes. Personally I like Ted Larson better. There is really nothing about A.Q. Shipley that I can tout as a asset.




Defensive Line:

Need: Starting Nose Tackle

I hope the Cardinals bring back Tommy Kelly because I thought he played very well for us. Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Ed Stinson, Kareem Martin, and Josh Mauro all are good players, and good depth for the defensive line. Yet, there is a glaring need at nose tackle that has to be addressed. The lost of Darnell Dockett hurts nostalgically, but his production can be replaced by what is already on the roster.

Defensive line Free Agent Targets:

- Terrenace Knighton:
This is the biggest name and one of the biggest bodies out on the market. I would wonder why the Cardinals would sign Knighton to big money over Dan Williams unless Williams thinks he is on par with Knighton which is laughable. Kighton is a force in the middle, and has great ability for a man his size. Yet, I don't the Cardinals are going to pay top dollar for a nose tackle.

- Vince Wilfolk:
Again, I don't see the Cardinals going in this direction because of money reasons. Wilfolk's still a top nose tackle in the league, and can play for as long as he wants to. There is not much needed from him besides his ridiculous size, strength, and quickness of feet. He will always have his power, and size, and his speed is a non-factor for the position he plays. Who knows ? Maybe Wilfolk is one of those veterans the Cardinals get on a prove it deal, but I doubt it.

- Kendrick Ellis:
I like Ellis for the Cardinals. He won't break the bank and filled his role with the Jets perfectly when he was healthy. He is not the athlete Dan Williams is, but Ellis can play two downs and hold up against the run, which is all the Cardinals need. He is a good fit, IMO.

- B.J. Raji:
Raji is not the player that his name warrants. When a player is best know for being the guy Rich Eisen virtually raced during the combine, that is not good. Yet, he is not horrible. He is a poor man's Dan Williams, and maybe with the right coaching could play as well as Williams or better. The problem with Raji is that his price tag may end up being way more than what his skills warrant. Not to mention he has had some injury issues.

- Ryan Pickett:
With zero nose tackles on the roster, the Cardinals are looking for starters and depth. Pickett can play nose tackle, and defensive end need be. He is a solid veteran that can hold the position. HIs versatility, and experience are his best assets, but if he is the starter that would be a problem.

- Barry Cofield:
Again, this would be a depth signing, and unlike Pickett Cofield cannot play defensive end. Yet, he can rotate in at nose tackle and get the job done.




Outside Linebacker/4-3 Defensive End/Pass Rusher:

Need: A pass rusher, and depth at the position.

I am not the only person in the sports world that has an problem categorizing this position. Look around at the draft sites and see how many versions of this position you see. While the Cardinals are thin at this position it is far from barren. Alex Okafor is the nicest surprise of last season, and will be the Cardinals primary pass rusher in 2015, unless by miracle, they can find someone to put on the field with him that is better. Matt Shaughnessey will be back and play outside linebacker, and defensive end. He will have the offseason to heal up, and be the solid player the Caridnals can count on. Lorenzo Alexander is still on the roster, but he could be a late cap casualty. You can never have enough pass rushers, and the Cardinals are in need of more. Yet, you also need depth at the position and the Cardinals need depth as well.

Outside Linebacker/4-3 Defensive End/Pass Rusher Free Agent Targets:

- Jerry Hughes:
A pure speed rusher, that can get to the quarterback. He may not be good against the run, but the Cardinals have other players to fill that role. With Hughes on one side, and Okafor on the other, the Cardinals would have a good blend of speed and power for a pass rush combination. Not to mention the Cardinals can afford to have a pass rush specialist with the other players they already have on the roster. Money will be an issue, but that is the case for all pass rushers.

- Brian Orakpo:
This is a boom or bust free agent. If he stays healhty Orkapo is the type of outside linebacker that the Cardinals defense wants. The problem with Orakpo is that he is never healthy, and it has been a while since he has flashed that ability that brought his name into the spot light. Yet, if the Cardinals were to sign him, and he stay healthy he would be a perfect fit for the Cardinals and there defense. Dare I say we would have a dangerous four man pass rush ? Not to mention Orakpo could stay on the and play against the run.

- Brandon Graham:
Pass rushers are hard to find, and Graham can get after the quartback but he is a step down from Hughes, and doesn't have the potential Orakpo has. Graham has been inconsistent for the Eagles, and struggled learning to play in the 3-4. Yet, sometimes it takes a player a bit to work into that transition. Graham reminds me of Calvin Pace who was in the same position for the Cardinals, and left to have a decent career with the Jets. I think Graham can rush the passer better than Pace every did, though.

- Greg Hardy:
Pass rushers are hard to find. I don't know. The charges were dropped, and if the Cardinals are sticking with Washington, then why not bring Hardy in. Yes, there is a P.R. situation with Hardy, but is it any worse that the one with Washington ? On the field, Hardy is an elite pass rusher with extradinary skills. I don't think the Cardinals are even thinking about it, but I am putting him on the list, because he is the best pass rusher to be a free agent in a long time.

- John Abraham:
Pass rushers are hard to find. Abraham's skills seem to never leave him, yet he is very old, and there are serious, serious questions about his mental state, IMO. A one year minimum contract for a guy that can still get at the QB ? Sure, why not.

- Shaun Phillips:
Pass rushers are hard to find, and much like Abraham, Phillips can still get at the quarterback. Not to mention Phillips has better all around skill for the position, so while he may not be the pass rusher Abraham is, he can help out in other areas and roles.

- Dwight Freeney:
Pass rushers are hard to find. Freeney is the last of the old timers I would look at. He can still get after the quarterback, but that is it, and doesn't do it as well as Abraham.

- Brooks Reed:
The best of the "Sam Acho type OLBer". He may not be a great pass rusher but does it better that Acho. He is better against the run than Acho, and just like Acho has played a little inside linebacker. Reed is a high effort player, and once was thought to be the next big thing at outside linebacker. Much like Acho he seems to plateau and never improve past that point. Reed would be an interesting player for the Cardinals.

- Trent Cole:
The players from here down I am looking at for depth reasons, and not for pure pass rushing roles. Cole is a great player, and a veteran I would want on my team. High effort, good power, and just a good football player. For a minimum contract, I think he could bring a lot to the Cardinals in way of leadership, both vocally and by high effort example. Watching Cole in Philly, this guy can still play.

- Sam Acho:
Acho is smart, and plays solid for his position. He brings nothing to the pass rush part of the game, but against the run, and pass he has good ability. He is stricly a depth player.

- Jarrett Johnson:
Johnson made a name for himself with the Ravens, and is very much in the same vien as a Sam Acho, but I think Johnson can bring a little more to the pass rush side of things. Strictly a depth guy.

- Jabaal Sheard:
I don't know where people are getting this guy can rush the passer any better than Sam Acho. Look at the stats, and the fact he was never the primary pass rusher in Cleveland. It is not like he was double teamed all the time. He is a solid player, good for depth, but that is about it.

***EDIT: See more on Pernell McPhee below. Cardinals supposedly showing interest in this player. After some thought, McPhee is a larger OLBer that the Cardinals like, and produces about as much as a healthy Orakpo. But at 10 million a year ?


Inside Linebacker:

Need: Everything

This position is a barren wasteland for the Cardinals, really bad. Daryl Washington is all-pro talent, but all-manure brains. Who knows how long he will be suspended, and if he will ever be the player he once was, or if he will stay out of trouble. One thing for sure, he cannot be counted on, so while he is on the roster on paper, he is not noted in my mind as on the field. Thus the Cardinals need everything. Kevin Minter was beat out by Glenn Carson and Kenny Demens last season, and that is all you need to know about that. Carson is good depth, but he is not NFL starting talent. Demens is a special teams player. Again, the Cardinals need everything here.

Inside Linebacker Free Agent Targets:

- Sean Witherspoon:
Ugh. IF HEALTHY. Witherspoon has the potential of giving the Cardinals a Karlos Dansby type player. The problem is WItherspoon is rarely healthy. Yet, let's say he stays healthy, then you get a player who has very good speed, instincts, and ability to cover. WItherspoon would not only be able to be insurance for Washington, but on passing downs putting Witherspoon and Washington on the field would be a terror for teams to play against because of the speed that would be on the field. Yet, again, this player has a HUGE red flag for durability reasons.

EDIT: Dannell Ellerbe
Sounds like Ellerbe will be released by the Dolphins. Yes, he is coming off injury, but Ellerbe has experience in the 3-4 and could be a great replacement for Larry Foote. He was playing very well for the Dolphins before he got hurt. He was cut for monitary reasons, and can probably be had for a very team friendly contract, or "prove it" contract.

- Nate Irving:
The modern day Paris Lenon. I am not really high on Nate Irving. He is a solid player who is better than Glenn Carson, but by how much I am not sure. Yes, the Cardinals need depth at the position so I am hoping the interest the Cardinals have in Irving is for a mid-range contract, because that is where I feel his skills are. He is OK is coverage, and OK against the run.

- Brandon Spikes:
Again, the Cardinals need EVERYTHING at this position. Spikes is only a two down player, and that may work for the Cardinals, if Spikes ends up waiting around for a deal late in free agency. Spikes is a role player, a depth guy, but his play against the run is phenominal. He is what Kevin Minter was supposed to be.

- DJ Williams:
The players from here on out would be depth players. DJ Williams is a headcase, and a player whose skills have carried him throughout his career. He still has good speed, makes a lot of tackles, and has come coverage ability left. But, his skills are in decline and the mental part of this game is not his strong point. Maybe a late free agent signing that gets his second wind in Arizona.

- Mason Foster:
A smaller, faster linebacker from Tampa Bay. He is more of a role player, with good coverage skills, but is a bit of a liability in the run game. Foster at worst would play special teams, and passing downs. At best, in a 3-4 and not taking on offensive lineman he could find himself in the right system to produce at a NFL starter level.

- Akeem Ayers:
Seemed to play pretty well when plugged into a Belichek/Parcell's 3-4 defense. The Cardinals need depth, and versatility at the linebacker spot, and while Ayers has a name for himself, you question whether he was playing above his level, last year. Much like Foster, he would be great no matter what for depth, but has the potential to be a starter.

- Bruce Carter:
I looked into Carter, and while he has speed, he is strictly a backup, and his coverage skills are "OK". Carter brings more speed than a Kenny Demens, but I would not want to see the Cardinals spend any type of "more than minimum" money on Carter.

- Joe Mays:
He was the starter for Kansas City last season until he got hurt. He came back late in the year but didn't produce much. He reminds me too much of Kevin Minter for my liking, but for the minimum the Cardinals could get a steal in Joe Mays since he does have the ability to start in the league. Yet, how would he fit in the Cardinals system, and how healthy is he. Not to mention he never really proved his starter role in Kansas City.

- Arthur Moats:
The classic Pittsburgh linebacker who is talked about but is not really anything special. Moats has decent speed but I don't think he could beat out Kenny Demens. Yet, if there is anything to the modest hype he gets in Pittsburgh he is worth taking a look at.

- Kelvin Sheppard:
I have a feeling this player is going to the Cardinals or the Jets on a minimum contract. Sheppard has the size to be a strong side inside linebacker, and would be brought in for depth reasons. From what little I have seen, I like this player's potential, size and speed. Perfect fit for the backup SILB spot, in my opinion.




Defensive Back:

Need: Starting Cornerback on the outside, cornerback depth.
* No need at safety

The Cardinals are pretty much set in the defensive back field except for replacing Antonio Cromartie. Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, and Rashad Johnson make a very good secondary. Some depth needs to be infused into the group but the core is taken care of. Tony Jefferson has the chance to bounce back from a poor season, and keep your eye on Chris Clemons who was signed late last year. He has good speed, and coverage skills for depth at safety.

Cornerback Free Agent Targets:

- Antonio Cromartie:
The Jets ? Shuffle off to Buffalo ? Those might happen, or they may not. Cromartie would be great to bring back, but it doesn't look good.

- Kareem Jackson - EDIT: Re-signed with the Texans:
A very solid cornerback that would be better suited to play on the outside over Jerraud Powers. He would be a downgrade from Cromartie, but again Jackson is a veteran that can hold down the position adequately. Nothing special just a solid starter.

- Darius Butler:
Butler is the cornerback the Colts kept over Jerraud Powers because Bulter can play on the outside. Again, a solid NFL starter that is a step below Kareem Jackson. Butler would get picked on mercilessly if he played for the Cardinals, but he is one of the better players available that can play on the outside.


Special Teams:
Zastidul, and the Cat Man are good players at their position. We need a long snapper tho. I will leave that one in Keim's hands.

I know I am posting this as free agency starts, but what better time is there to post it !
 
Last edited:

Gee!

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Cromartie is as good as gone. He will be back in NYC.. I am not even considering him in AZ next year.
 

az jam

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What about Pernell McPhee. Cards are interested in him.

Darren Urban ‏@Cardschatter 14m14 minutes ago
Another name floated RT @NBCdianna: Sources close to Pernell McPhee tell me that #AZCardinals see him as a healthy replacement to Dockett.
 

SissyBoyFloyd

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What about Pernell McPhee. Cards are interested in him.

Darren Urban ‏@Cardschatter 14m14 minutes ago
Another name floated RT @NBCdianna: Sources close to Pernell McPhee tell me that #AZCardinals see him as a healthy replacement to Dockett.

Appears he would be worth 10 mil. and would be a good fit for Cards. Lets do it. Someone check expedia and get him on a flight, asap.
 

Mainstreet

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Nice work RugbyMuffin. It is very much appreciated.
 
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RugbyMuffin

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What about Pernell McPhee. Cards are interested in him.

Darren Urban ‏@Cardschatter 14m14 minutes ago
Another name floated RT @NBCdianna: Sources close to Pernell McPhee tell me that #AZCardinals see him as a healthy replacement to Dockett.

At 11:42 EST that report wasn't out, and I don't know why the Cardinals would be going after him at that big of a salary.

I think Ed Stinson will be fine as Dockett's replacement, backed up by Frostee Rucker.

McPhee's stats are OK, and he was used a lot in Baltimore, but at 10 million a season ? I don't know, but that is why Keim gets paid the big bucks.
 

Krangodnzr

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Greg Hardy's situation was much worse than Daryl Washington. He beat his girlfriend pretty bad and threatened to kill her while he held a gun to her head.
 

Gandhi

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This is a great thread, RugbyMuffin! Thank you for the work!

Outside Linebacker/4-3 Defensive End/Pass Rusher Free Agent Targets:

- Jerry Hughes:
A pure speed rusher, that can get to the quarterback. He may not be good against the run, but the Cardinals have other players to fill that role. With Hughes on one side, and Okafor on the other, the Cardinals would have a good blend of speed and power for a pass rush combination. Not to mention the Cardinals can afford to have a pass rush specialist with the other players they already have on the roster. Money will be an issue, but that is the case for all pass rushers.

I think Hughes is a very interesting case. For two straight seasons he has excelled in Buffalo with two different coordinators, and in two different schemes. Granted, both did favor him (situational, designated pass rusher only the first year - used as a wide 9-defensive end the second) but it also shows versatility. That he was a terror in two seasons straight could indicate that he is not just over-achieving when he is about to enter free agency (which is why I am not thrilled with the idea of signing Pernell McPhee), and that he was a failure in Indianapolis could simply be because he needed to get acclimated to the NFL (switching from defensive end to linebacker), and needed a change of scenery to really get going.

Yes, most of that is speculation on my part but where I think it gets very intriguing is that both Bruce Arians and James Bettcher spend an entire season with Hughes in Indianapolis. Hearing Steve Keim talk at the Scouting Combine about draft-failures he said something along the lines of "more often than not we are right about the player but wrong about the person." Well, though this would be a different situation, Arians and Bettcher should at least now something about Hughes as a person, and as a player Hughes has already proved his worth.

- Brian Orakpo:
This is a boom or bust free agent. If he stays healhty Orkapo is the type of outside linebacker that the Cardinals defense wants. The problem with Orakpo is that he is never healthy, and it has been a while since he has flashed that ability that brought his name into the spot light. Yet, if the Cardinals were to sign him, and he stay healthy he would be a perfect fit for the Cardinals and there defense. Dare I say we would have a dangerous four man pass rush ? Not to mention Orakpo could stay on the and play against the run.

I think you are spot on with this, RugbyMuffin. I have been thinking myself that - if healthy - Orakpo would probably be the prototypical pass rushing linebacker in Bettcher's defense.

I like the idea of either reuniting the TCU-duo of Daryl Washington and Jerry Hughes, or the Texas-trio of Sam Acho, Alex Okafor and Brian Orakpo on the same defense.
 
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RugbyMuffin

RugbyMuffin

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Sunday Updates:

1. Darnell Dockett - I am not sure why there is such emphasis on finding a replacement for Dockett. I guess Tommy Kelly in a rotation with Ed Stinson and Frostee Rucker is out of the question since the hot topic seems to be Dockett's replacement. I don't know if this is just ignorance in the mass media, or if this is really that big an issue to the Cardinals.

2. Staying in that topic, the Cardinals are reportedly interested Jarvis Jenkins, but Jenkins is a backup at this point in his career, had PED issues, and some other red flags.

3. Mark Ingram was re-signed by the Saints.

4. Broncos made a multi-year offer to Victor Green, TE.
 

Cardiac

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Speaking of need, in order of importance, I think the current needs for the Cardinals are:
1. Pass Rusher
2. Cornerback
3. Inside Linebacker
4. Nose Tackle
5. Guard/Center
6. Running Back
7. Tight End
8. 5th Wide Reciever/Punt Returner/Kick Returner
9. Inside Linebacker Depth
10. Outside Linebacker Depth
11. Defensive Back depth
12. Tight End depth


First of all, excellent thread and I look forward to your Roster and FA posts.

At this point I would prioritize the needs differently:

1. ILB (We don't have anyone that is a starter)
2. Pass Rusher
3. Nose Tackle (We don't have any)
4. ILB (yes we are that thin at the position)
5. CB (Cro won't be back but Bethel and Powers are good enough)
6. RB (Juke needs help)
7. OG (Cooper and Watford should be ready but we need insurance)
8. PR/KR
9. TE (With how BA uses them we are okay but the position can be upgraded)
10. DE (Looks like BASK has this ranked higher then us fans)

While I expect a pass rusher to be taken in rd1 because that's where the talent and importance of position best align. Quality ILBers can be found in rounds 2 thru 5 much easier then pass rushers.

I heard an interview with BA where he said Powers was maybe our best CB last year. I'm sure part of that is because he excels in the slot but he played very well the prior year on the outside.

Having typed all this I'm sure BASK's first FA signing will be DE & OC. :D
 

Cardinals.Ken

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Good, comprehensive, rundown Terry!

There's just one thing I would take issue with:

Wide Receiver:

Need: 5th string wide receiver that can field punts, and kick offs

IMHO We need a 1st string WR, if not this year then next.

- Fitzgerald is fast gaining momentum going downhill on the backside of his career
- Floyd has shown that he will never be consistent enough to be "The Man"
- Both Browns are as far as they're going to get; they'll always be complimentary receivers...decoys and deep threats...but never #1 guys.

Just my two cents worth Sasha.
 

GuernseyCard

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Good stuff!

(Weatherspoon)

And let's not be too concerned about some agent floating $8, 10M for McPhee. The market will dictate, but a guy who can play OLB/5 & 3 technique is intriguing.
 
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