For the most part, the Arizona Cardinals had a quiet offseason. That is, once they weren't part of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. But those who follow the team knew that the 2012 offseason was going to be fairly quiet. They lost Richard Marshall and a couple of reserve players in Deuce Lutui and Sean Considine. They cut Rex Hadnot and Levi Brown, but then they re-sign Brown to a five-year contract, showing their confidence in him and, at the same time, structuring it in a way that after a couple of years if he struggles, it won't be a huge cap hit.
In free agency, they added guard Adam Snyder, cornerback William Gay and safety James Sanders. Essentially a starter and a couple of reserves.
So it would be understandable to think that the offseason was not great. Matt Williamson in an Insider article on ESPN.com graded each team in the NFC for their offseason and gave the Cards a C.
He notes the lack of free agent moves, but also discusses the Cardinals' draft. It was in the draft that they addressed more of the team's immediate and long-term needs.
However, the comment Williamson made about the team's free agent moves was off-base.
In terms of veteran movement in free agency, the Cardinals had very little whatsoever. And status quo isn't good for this organization in a division that is getting increasingly difficult.
Arizona was never going to make a splash in free agency this offseason. They did that in 2011 in acquiring Kevin Kolb, Daryn Colledge, Marshall and Stew Bradley.
This offseason was always about depth, except the offensive line, and the pickings were slim. They brought back their left tackle and signed a starting guard. They really could not have done more based on their salary cap situation.
Williamson did have some positive things to say:
However, the Arizona defense got much better as the 2011 season went along and I love the skill position players on offense with the addition of Floyd, TE Rob Housler's maturation this past year and RB Ryan Williams returning from injury. The drafting of Floyd also should allow Andre Roberts to work from the slot, where he could excel. I also liked the selection of Lindley in the sixth round. Considering his competition at quarterback, there's a chance he'll be the starter down the line. But, even though the Cardinals made some fine value picks with offensive linemen and with Lindley, the questions up front and at quarterback are massive.
In the end, the Cardinals are believed to be "treading water" while the rest of the division got better.
I guess a C is to be expected, but with the development of their draft and other acquisitions from a season ago, the team probably did not need a perceived A.
Do you think a C was fair? I do, but it is a weighted C.
Talk about it!