So far this offseason, the Arizona Cardinals have been busy. They have signed Drew Stanton, Rashard Mendenhall, Yeremiah Bell, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Jasper Brinkley, Lorenzo Alexander and Matt Shaughnessy. Of these eight, anywhere between four and six could be starters.
Which one will have the biggest impact?
Stanton, if he starts...and does not get hurt...possibly could. With the disastrous play from the position outside of Kevin Kolb (who found his way on IR), if Stanton is even okay it will look amazing. However, nothing in his play previous to this season can predict success.
As for the two cornerbacks signed in Powers and Cason. Playing opposite Patrick Peterson means getting thrown at more, which means they will not look as good as they could. It is just how it goes when you have such a great corner on the other side of the field.
Mendenhall has the biggest potential to make a huge impact. He has done it before. The question is whether or not he can fully recover from his torn ACL.
Bell is not flashy and will likely provide much of what the Cards already had at the position. He will not be a huge impact player.
Shaughnessy? He will be a rotational player.
For me, the biggest impact will be had by either Jasper Brinkley or Lorenzo Alexander.
Brinkley is exactly the type of linebacker that the team has needed. He is a thumping, run-stopping linebacker. Where did the team struggle on defense last year? Against the run. He won't be on the field on passing downs if used right. His job will be to stuff the run. Having that type of player could have a big impact.
Alexander? As a versatile player and special teams standout, he can impact a game in many ways. However, since he can put pressure on the quarterback and it is believed that he may start. Sacks get more attention. If he gets them, people will notice.
I say that Brinkley or Alexander will end up having the biggest impact in free agency. Mendenhall has a chance, but will split the load with Ryan Williams.
If you had to guess now in March, who would you pick to make the biggest impact?
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