There is a lot less football to be played than there was only a few weeks ago. However, the playoffs are a time for players to shine and sometimes to see their last stint with their respective teams.
It's also a time in which the Cardinals front office will be reviewing the talent on teams that will be playing for who might be a player they could look at signing to improve a position.
So who are some of the players that the Cardinals might be looking at this weekend?
Let's find out.
1. T.J. Lang, G, Green Bay Packers
This type of move in free agency is one I don't see happening, but then again I didn't see the Iupati signing either. Lang is unlikely to be franchised and is coming off a year in which he was selected to a Pro Bowl and will definitely get some pull on the free agent market at age 29.
Could that pull come from the Cardinals? I would be inclined to doubt so given what Keim has invested into his line that you could only invest so much.
And yet, Right Guard was so troublesome for the Cardinals all season long, perhaps Keim decides that a veteran approach will be beneficial not only for his aging quarterback but also for his young star running back. He'd have to let Tony Jefferson and possibly D.J. Swearinger go, but hey, he did find them as a UDFA and waiver claim anyway?
I do think that a veteran presence will be brought in at Right Guard. Lang is an option to consider.
2. Micah Hyde, SS, Green Bay Packers
Special teams struggles, you say? Need help with safeties in the secondary departing, you say? Hyde can do both.
The Packers' version of a Swiss Army Knife before Ty Montgomery, Hyde would be a help as a kick and punt returner as well as playing safety should Jefferson and/or Swearinger leave. He's 26 and would be a big help to Arizona
3. Shane Lechler, P, Houston Texans
For some Cardinals fans, they might be asking themselves right now "Why didn't he list this one first?" Well, if Lechler decides to return, yes, he might be an instant upgrade in Arizona's punting game.
A 9-time all-pro who's led the league in punting multiple times, Lechler has not only been a rock-solid punter, but would provide them with a veteran punter presence they haven't had since Dave Zastudil retired.
The cost will be interesting, as will Lechler's age of 40 years. But, if Keim can finagle a one-year deal for the punter, perhaps the instant boost in the punt game could see Arizona's super bowl stock improve.
And, let's be fair, the fact that the Texans are in the playoffs with Brock Osweiler as their quarterback? Lechler might need some credit with well-placed punts if just for that.
4. Ryan Griffin, TE, Houston Texans
I originally didn't plan for each of these positions to be different, but it turned out that way as every one of them either is a position of need or has a potentially departing free agent.
Tight end, with Jermaine Gresham a free agent, is one of those needs. Griffin has done an excellent job as a blocker and has even taken over the role of the pass-catching tight end from C.J. Fiedorowicz as of late. At 6'6, 260 he's a perfect size fit for Bruce Arians as a blocker and a matchup problem for linebackers. He'll find a nice little deal after the season, and should be within the Cardinals' budget if Gresham finds greener cash, er...grass, elsewhere.
5. Logan Ryan, CB, New England Patriots
Ryan will be one of the bigger name free agents out there as a former New England Patriot. While Bruce Arians' comments about Marcus Cooper were glowing, Ryan is better. Inconsistent at times, he is still one of the better press-coverage corners in the game and could thrive on the outside with Patrick Peterson on the other.
While it might not be the elite duo that Peterson and the resurgent Cromartie were, Ryan would instantly address the #2 CB hole and give Arizona insurance as well in the slot if Tyrann Mathieu becomes injured.
The price, however, might end up being too much for Arizona to pay.
What do you think?
Are there any other soon-to-be free agents playing this weekend you think the Cardinals should look into?
If so, let me know in the comments!
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