USA TODAY Sports
They have cleared salary cap space and have several needs. Are they poising themselves to be major players in free agency?
Heading into this offseason, no one figured that the Arizona Cardinals would be major players in free agency. They were over the salary cap and their biggest need (quarterback) was not going to find a big name in free agency. However, after cutting Adrian Wilson, Stewart Bradley, William Gay and Early Doucet, they now have over $7 million available in salary cap space.
Now, reportedly, the Cardinals are looking to make a splash and do more than what they had done previously when Ken Whisenhunt was head coach.
USA Today's Mike Garafolo reports saying that the Cardinals are going after running back Reggie Bush, "a top safety and some other targets." He says that the team is "aiming high" and that "they aren't messing around."
What does this mean?
Well, it might just be smoke; however, let's consider that it is true. With between $7 and $8 million in cap space, they aren't going to do more than perhaps make one splash. If that is their intent, it means that we are going to see some more salary cutting. Specifically, that would mean that Kevin Kolb will be cut, and that players like Daryn Colledge and Adam Snyder might be shown the door.
Now, back to reality. The report on a safety is the most confusing. We know that they have been in talks with Rashad Johnson. It has long been assumed that he would be brought back as a starter. If they are truly aiming high at that position, Johnson is not the only target, which means he would move back into the same role he had a season ago.
As so aptly noted by one of our own readers, even with the wiggle room the team has given itself, attracting a high-profile free agent seems unlikely.
The Cardinals have not had a good track record with free agent splashes. They did that signing Edgerrin James, Emmitt Smith and Dexter Jackson. None panned out.
In recent history, the blueprint was to try and draft your team, but then use free agency to build depth. The team would bring guys in who would come off the bench, guys like Vonnie Holliday,
Are we seeing a paradigm shift? Will Steve Keim place a greater value on veterans?
Keep an eye out for that.
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