The Arizona Cardinals spent their offseason shuffling players in and out of the starting line-up, losing some to free agency, and even signing big-name players, as well. 2010 has been an offseason to remember. We know about the talent that was lost, and we also know about the talent that was added. One of the biggest changes, however, came from former Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter was signed and Bryant McFadden was sent packing.
Porter was the first of the two to make a headline in the desert. After he was released by the Miami Dolphins, his journey led him to Arizona - a place he had hoped to play in 2010. He toyed around with the idea of heading to a different city, but in the end, got his way and became a Cardinal. The very idea that a well-known player like Porter would want to play for the Cardinals speaks volumes by itself for just how far this team has come.
The signing of Porter was truly a game-changer. Although the veteran is at the age of 33, there's no denying the aura surrounding Porter, and what he brings to the table. After the losses of defensive leaders Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle, Porter's experience is relieving. He may not consider himself a mentor, but he's been just that so far this offseason. His competitiveness is sure to rub off on other players, as well. He will also help improve a Cardinals' linebacking unit that struggled to attack opposing quarterbacks last season. Porter became the best pass-rusher on the team and brings a combined 26.5 sacks the last two seasons with him. He's now a member of the defending NFC West champs, and will surely make his presence felt next season.
At the other end of the spectrum is cornerback Bryant McFadden. McFadden was signed last offseason with the hopes that he could play alongside Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to form a solid foundation in the Cardinals' secondary. He played well for the most part, but struggled when he was targeted towards the end of the season. Teams caught McFadden out of position several times, exploiting his man-to-man weaknesses. During the second day of the draft, McFadden was traded back to his original team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With McFadden departed, a new door opened. Players like second-year man Greg Toler, former starter Trumaine McBride, and special teams ace Michael Adams will get the opportunity to fight for the second starting corner position. This time, someone will need to earn that role. For now, the Cardinals will continue to float below everyone's radar despite doing everything right to prepare for 2010.