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Arizona Cardinals slow play in 2018 could pay big dividends in 2019 and beyond

The Arizona Cardinals are loaded with picks and salary cap space for 2019, maybe they had a plan all along.

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals-Sam Bradford The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

There is a plan. There is always a plan. That’s one thing fans have to believe of their teams and what they are doing.

Whether it is “The Process” or “The Timeline” or “Organizational Advocacy” or whatever na,e you give it, there seems to always be a plan.

Sometimes, the plan works.

In 2013, Steve Keim had a plan.

Not many agreed with it, oh sure, everyone was okay with Carson Palmer at the cost paid, but they didn’t understand the slow play of not attacking the offensive line market. The Cardinals were still starting Levi Brown for goodness sake! They passed on the likes of Sebastian Volmer, Andy Levitre and some guy named Andre Smith. No, their big moves on the offensive line were Chilo Rachal and a first round pick in Jonathan Cooper.

Then the plan came into focus in 2014. The Cardinals jettisoned Brown for nothing a month into the 2013 season and in came Jared Veldheer. In 2015, they continued to build the offensive line and paid good money for Mike Iupati.

It took three offseasons, but the vision became clear.

Maybe that can explain what is going on in 2018.

The Cardinals made a huge splash with Justin Pugh, but nothing much past Pugh moves the needle. Oh sure, you can be excited about a healthy Sam Bradford, but that will be something to be excited about when it happens.

No, there were no wide receivers added, cornerback is again and need and all of a sudden defensive end and linebacker could use some work.

That’s the thing though, when you look beyond 2018, you can see a plan.

Nearly $80 million in cap space and a new plethora of top free agents to use the space on.

Pro Football Focus released their top ten free agents for 2019 and all of a sudden, maybe the Cardinals know what they’re looking for next year.

Geno Atkins to team up with Olsen Pierre? Brandon Graham to be a veteran third pass rusher and someone to help Markus Golden or maybe replace Golden?

Taylor Lewan is a free agent if the Cardinals are not enthralled with their young left tackle.

Needless to say, while the offseason has not been exactly what we as the fans wanted to see, it doesn’t mean that there is not a plan in place. It just may take a year or two or three to see it to fruition.