After watching Thursday's night game featuring the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders, it became quite evident that Arizona does not have a massive need for a #2 wide receiver. Andre Roberts showed flashes, Early Doucet could be an option and the crew of Stephen Williams, Chansi Stuckey, DeMarco Sampson and Isaiah Williams could all be contributors this season.
However, after Arizona only recorded two sacks throughout the whole game and let quarterbacks sit in the pocket, picking off the secondary at will, it also became obvious that they could use an upgrade at the pass rushing outside linebacker spot.
Right now, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are the starters at OLB. Both of them are veterans that obviously do not have the explosion that they once did. In steps O'Brien Schofield. Many have pegged him to be the replacement for Porter as the ROLB, but he is still stuck on the second team and looking for his rhythm. Outside of those three, the position looks pretty thin with Will Davis, Cyril Obiozor, rookie Sam Acho and some undrafted rookies.
The Cardinals could be in the market for a new pass rusher to put in the rotation, but is there anyone in free agency that could peak their interest? Let's take a look at the Pro Football Focus chart of available defensive free agents.
Matt Roth recently signed in Jacksonville, so he is no longer an option. After him, there are three guys that make the list as outside linebackers: Tully Banta-Cain, Keith Bulluck and Pisa Tinoisamoa.
Banta-Cain is coming off surgery for a torn abdominal muscle, so after being released by the Patriots, he probably isn't an option. PFF claims he does have 94 quarterback pressures over the past two years, so when healthy, he is an effective player. I'm not sure Arizona is willing to wait for his health to recover.
Keith Bulluck was a guy that Arizona pursued during the last off-season, but at the age of 34 and only 0.5 sacks over the last four seasons, he probably would not be an upgrade for Arizona as an OLB.
Pisa Tinoisamoa is about as injury prone as they come. In 2009, he suffered cartilage damage and in 2010 he had a knee injury that required surgery. He only recorded one sack in 12 games last season, so he probably would not be a boost to the linebacker corps either.
In my opinion, Arizona should not really pursue any of these guys if the intent is for them to play a good amount of snaps. If used sparingly, Banta-Cain would probably be the best option, but again, his new team will need to show patience as he recovers from surgery.
Letting O'Brien Schofield settle in and hopefully take a starting job by the end of the season could be the best option. But if he doesn't step up and Haggans and Porter have down seasons again, it could be a long year for the Cardinals defense.
What do you think Cardinals fans? Should Arizona go for one of the free agent pass rushers or take a wait and see approach with what they already have?