The Arizona Cardinals have made a number of offseason moves, letting some players go, signing others and drafting others. Which of the moves were overrated and which were underrated?
Here is what I think:
Losing Antonio Cromartie in free agency: This has been one of the most talked about losses. He was solid, but the Cardinals are not lost without him. With him and Patrick Peterson in the secondary, the Cards passing defense was ranked 29th in the league. In 2013 and Jerraud Powers starting instead of Cro, Arizona was 14th in the league in pass defense.
It is unfair to say Cro was the difference -- it's absurd. However, it does demonstrate having two "shutdown" corners isn't the difference. If Patrick Peterson plays to the level he is capable of, Cromartie's absence won't be felt much.
Signing Alfonzo Dennard: I don't know if this even qualifies. It depends on expectations. Some believe he will be a guy to get important playing time. He really is the 2015 version of Antoine Cason -- a guy who has started a lot in the league and also has seen his play deteriorate a bit. His depth will be nice, but if he plays at all, it will probably mean injuries in the secondary.
Signing Corey Peters: Arizona let Dan Williams go in free agency and instead replaced him with Peters. Peters was a starter for four of his five seasons as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. He steps in immediately as the starting nose tackle. he is versatile enough to play all over the defensive line. He can stop the run and can get pressure on the quarterback -- he is not one-dimensional. That versatility will be valued.
Signing A.Q Shipley: Arizona was willing to part ways with a longtime team captain to sign a guy who has bounced between starting and being on the bench. However, when he has started, he has been effective. Even more, the transition to playing is very short because he played for both Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin in Indianapolis. he is smart and will be a very solid addition to the interior.
John Carlson retiring: Carlson was a disappointment last season. However, his leaving the NFL will not go unnoticed. There is no experience in that room right now if the team doesn't sign a veteran. The tight end position doesn't have to put up big numbers, but his presence and professionalism perhaps will be missed.