Over at the mothership, SBNation.com, NFL writer Ryan Van Bibber did a nice piece on the Arizona Cardinals. Specifically, he put together an offseason report detailing how the Cardinals did last season, what they added this year in free agency and the draft and how the team could do in 2012.
After the jump, we will look at some of what Van Bibber said and discuss it.
First, Van Bibber discusses the 2011 season for the Cards and seems to be skeptical of some of the moves they made. As of now, Kevin Kolb has not proven that he is worth all that the organization surrendered to bring him in. The concussion issues only strengthened the case for the Cardinals to pursue Peyton Manning in free agency, according to Van Bibber.
After the Cardinals missed out on Manning, they decided to spend their money elsewhere. Signing offensive lineman, Adam Snyder was a plus, but Van Bibber sees William Gay as the best free agent pickup of the offseason. He will bring a good knowledge of the defensive scheme, as well as some veteran leadership to the table.
He goes on to question the team re-signing Levi Brown after he gave up 11 sacks last year. To me, this seems a bit unfair. If you follow the team closely, you would recognize that Levi played rather well over the last half of the season and with his new contract (which is heavily front loaded), he will look to keep rolling at a good pace.
In the draft, the consensus seems to think that Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd was a solid pick. Also, getting Jamell Fleming and Bobby Massie as far down the board as they did could be considered thievery. Both of them will probably be contributors for the Cards right away in some fashion.
Van Bibber then discusses what the Cardinals need to do in order to be successful next season. Jess gave a nice tidbit on what it will take for the Cards to overtake the 49ers this year. The additions along the offensive line, as well as the cornerback reinforcements the team will be receiving should help counteract the 49ers' numerous weapons.
To make the playoffs, the Cards will need to, "capture the youth vote." Van Bibber states that young players like Patrick Peterson, Sam Acho and the entire offensive line will need to step up if Arizona wants to capture the NFC West crown once again. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. No longer can the Cards rely solely on their veterans to do all of the work. The quarterbacks will need to play better and a sustainable passing game needs to be developed.
All in all, given how close the Cardinals were to cap, it seems to have been a rather productive offseason up to this point. New piece were added that can help the team right away, while no other key components were lost. If the team can re-sign Calais Campbell to a long term deal before the season starts, that will make it all the better.
What do you think of the offseason that the Arizona Cardinals have had? What could they have done better? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.