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NFL free agency: A pair of offseason simulations for Arizona Cardinals

A look at some possible scenarios for the Arizona Cardinals.

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We are still about a month away from free agency to start for the NFL, but that can't stop us from speculating. Thanks to a new simulation tool from FanSpeak called Manage the Cap, you can play around with your favorite NFL team and see what you come up with in terms of free agency.

I ran a pair of simulations. Take a look at what I came up with. (Sim 1 results) (Sim 2 results)

Salary cap movement:

Before starting free agency, I had to clear money.

Sim 1:

I clicked "restructure" for Larry Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell and Daryl Washington. What exactly went into those changes is not explained, but Fitz' cap number was brought down to $12.3 million, which we can work with. Calais Campbell's cap hit was brought down from $14.75 million to $10.65 million and Washington's was reduced to $4.7 million.

I wanted to restructure Darnell Dockett, but that option was not given, which I can guess means he is not projected to be willing to do so.

I released Dockett, Lyle Sendlein, Ted Ginn and John Carlson.

Sim 2:

I restructured the same deals as in the first simulation. The same cap hit resulted after redoing the deals. I released the same four players, but also Chris Clemons and Bradley Sowell. Both are set to be free agents, but in the first simulation after everything was done, they were still on my roster. That didn't need to happen. I cut them loose.


Sim 1:

I made contract offers to Antonio Cromartie, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Benard, Mike Leach and Dan Williams. I only ended up re-signing Dan Williams for four years, $16 million and Leach for two years, $2 million. I offered Tommy Kelly two years, $3 million and Cromartie $7 million per year for three years I think. I offered something small to Benard. They all said no. Larry Foote wouldn't return on a one-year deal. Rob Housler also wouldn't re-sign for the $1 million I offered him.

Sim 2:

I re-signed John Abraham on a one-year deal worth $3 million, as you will see I came up empty on a pass rusher in free agency in sim 1.

I again got Leach and Williams on the same deals as the first simulation, but also managed to keep Tommy Kelly, who agreed to two years, $4 million.

Free agency:

Sim 1:

I added tight end Matt Spaeth, inside linebacker David Harris, running back Darren McFadden and cornerback Brandon Browner.

I tried to sign Cromartie, but he landed elsewhere for over $9 million per year. Justin Houston never made it to free agency. I targeted Buffalo's Jerry Hughes, but he also went for more than I offered, landing $9 million per year. I added Browner for $3 million per year for three years. In that case I would probably also cut Jerraud Powers, but that wasn't an option in the simulation. Since I didn't know who I could get at cornerback, I didn't cut him beforehand. I thought Harris would be a nice addition to play either next to Washington or next to Minter. I added McFadden for two years, $3 million. It's not much and he has the size and skill to be a great complement to Andre Ellington, and if he didn't work out, it wouldn't be a big cap hit.

Sim 2:

I also added Spaeth and McFadden, but also got outside linebacker Brooks Reed and inside linebacker Nick Roach, who played for the Raiders under Bob Sanders as his LB coach.

Reed hasn't had great production since his rookie season, but I know there were many who really liked him coming out of Arizona. At $3 million per year for three years, it wasn't that much and the potential was there. I also targeted Cromartie and Hughes again, but had no luck. I would have tried to go after David Harris again, but he was gone before I had a chance to make an offer.


It was only a couple of attempts, but what do you think of those scenarios? Who would you target in free agency? Do these signees fit?