“Michael [Bidwill] and I talked about six to eight players, who are still on the street, who could potentially come in and help us,” Keim said on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports.
Keim has signed many short term, productive free agents after the draft and into the regular season. He has improved the pass rush short term in the past with additions such as John Abraham (2013 - 11.5 sacks, 4FF) and Dwight Freeney (2015 - 8 sacks, 3FF). The team brought other productive players such as Karlos Dansby, Chris Johnson, Tommy Kelly, and Eric Winston . He ended up finding a long term answer at the tight end position with Jermaine Gresham.
Positions that likely won’t see any more additions: QB, WR, TE, K, P, LS
Blaine Gabbert and Trevor Knight will battle to be the third-string quarterback. John Brown tweaked his hamstring but that should not worry the Cardinals to the extent that they should sign another veteran. If his injury extends to the regular season, this gives Chad Williams an early opportunity for more reps as other rookies. They also have Jeremy Ross and Aaron Dobson, who have had plenty of NFL experience. Arians is pleased with both Gresham and Niklas. Phil Dawson and Aaron Brewer will be the starters on special teams. Richie Leone and Matt Wile will battle to be the punter.
With that said, let’s take a look at potential additions to the Cardinals.
Free agent RB Chris Johnson: I want to play. A few teams are interested and we've stayed in close contact with Cardinals— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) June 2, 2017
Although it might be difficult for him to reach 10,000 career yards if he re-signs with the team, he will be playing for a contender and knows the playbooks. Keim doesn’t see the running back position as a glaring need but if Johnson can’t find a job elsewhere, he could rejoin the Cardinals. Arians shouldn’t over work David Johnson and so Chris Johnson along with Kerwynn Williams can take some of his workload such that all will be playing at full speed.
Rashad Johnson: He had five interceptions with the Cardinals in 2015. He knows the system and led one of the more dominant secondaries in the NFL that season. Tyvon Branch has struggled with injuries and his play wasn’t that promising when he was healthy. A return to the Cardinals is very possible and could end up taking Branch’s roster spot. Mathieu, Bethea, and Johnson trio sounds great. Rudy Ford, Harlan Miller, and Ironhead Gallon can learn a thing or two from Johnson.
Tracy Porter: He bounced around the league, playing for the Saints, Broncos, Raiders, Redskins, and Bears. Though his good days are behind him, he does bring even more speed to the cornerback position. He has 13 career interceptions and is known for that pick-six in the Super Bowl versus the Colts. The Cardinals have Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams but neither have played to expectations yet. If things don’t pan out for both, Porter would be good insurance to have.
Sam Shields: The Cardinals have to make sure his life is straightened out and that his medical is fine before even signing the veteran. When he is healthy, he can make game changing plays and can cover wide receivers at a high level. I don’t expect Arizona to sign a veteran free agent cornerback unless they are not happy with what they are seeing in OTAs, minicamp, and training camp.
Dan Williams: The Cardinals lost Calais Campbell to free agency. He was never fit to play in a 4-3 system, which he did as an Oakland Raider. He was the Cardinals former first round pick who played with the team from 2010-2014. If he is able to control and manage his weight, he could return. The Cardinals need more experience and depth on the defensive line. He did a solid job as a run stuffing nose tackle when he was with the Cardinals. He isn’t much of a pass rusher but he would add to the already top notch run defense.