One of the things the Arizona Cardinals really have to focus on this offseason is making sure that they can sign quality talent while being able to maneuver around the cap limit. They are currently $3 million over it, so cuts will inevitably have to be made and contracts restructured.
The team will likely look into re-signing players like LaRod Stephens-Howling, Rashad Johnson, Quentin Groves and possibly Brian Hoyer and Paris Lenon. But none of them are the most important pieces for the team. The guy that matters most, according to Mike Sando of ESPN's NFC West blog, is Greg Toler. He is an unrestricted free agent, meaning he is free to sign with any other team.
Here is what Sando says about the Cards needing to keep Toler in the desert:
The Cardinals' defense will undergo something of a makeover with new coordinator Todd Bowles calling the shots, but that's more likely to affect the front seven. A good, big, young cornerback is tailor-made for any defense, and Toler improved during his fourth season in 2012. He shouldn't break the bank, either.
Toler played very well for the Cards last season, earning a +8.8 pass coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. The only problem is that he played in just eleven games and took 308 snaps.
Because of that, it will be interesting to see what the Cardinals decide to do with him. He has already been linked to the Browns and joining former defensive coordinator Ray Horton, so the Cardinals will want to avoid a bidding war. But as Sando says, he shouldn't be overly expensive, partially due to his extensive injury history.
The Cardinals don't have a ton of depth behind him, as William Gay is a prime candidate to be cut and Jamell Fleming may not be ready. Toler could be the only guy the Cardinals have across from Patrick Peterson.
What do you make of Toler? Is he a must-keep player? Tell us in the comments section below.