The Arizona Cardinals have been busy at the start of free agency.
They added LB Jordan Hicks, LB Terrell Suggs, OG J.R. Sweezy, WR Kevin White, OG Max Garcia, and QB Brett Hundley via free agency. The Cardinals also traded for OT Marcus Gilbert from the Steelers.
Near the end of the 2018 regular season and before the start of free agency, the Cardinals added WR Pharoh Cooper, FS D.J. Swearinger, CB Robert Alford, TE Charles Clay, LB Brooks Reed, and LB Tanner Vallejo.
Even with all of the new additions to the team, don’t expect the Cardinals to be finished just yet. There are still holes on the defensive line, defensive backfield, and the wide receiver position that the Cardinals will need to address.
Here are some of the best available free agents that the Cardinals could add this week:
LB Zach Brown
Brown is the best available free agent linebackers, after being released by the Washington Redskins. Not sure why the Redskins used him as a two-down linebacker because he can do it all. Pro Football Focus gave him an 89.2 overall grade, the third-best linebacker grade of 2018. He was great as a tackler, run stuffer, and in pass coverage.
CB Morris Claiborne
Patrick Peterson could try to recruit his former LSU teammate to Arizona. He recorded two interceptions with the Jets last season. Just like Bashaud Breeland signed a one-year $5 million deal with the Chiefs filled with incentives, Claiborne is expected to receive something similar. The Cardinals need a slot cornerback and he could be a very inexpensive one. He played a 3-4 scheme the past two season, which gives the Cardinals even more of a reason to take a chance at signing the former first-rounder.
WR Randall Cobb
Cobb is familiar with Cardinals’ WR coach David Raih, who worked for the Packers last season. He looks to be on the downside of his career, after posting his second-lowest receiving yards total in 2018. But the Cardinals could give him a one-year deal and hope that he can recapture his pre-injury form.
CB Darqueze Dennard
The Cardinals have two starting corners in place, with Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford. But they’ll need a slot cornerback with Budda Baker moving back to strong safety. Considering the Broncos signed one of the top slot cornerbacks, Bryce Callahan, in the NFL last season at $7 per season, maybe Dennard’s value is less than that. But he’s a player that continues to improve with every season. Though he wants $10 million per season, I don’t think he’ll get what he demands.
DL Rodney Gunter
Gunter had his best season in 2018, posting a career high in sacks (4.5). But he had that success in a Steve Wilks’ 4-3 scheme. He played nose tackle when James Bettcher was still the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator. The Cardinals have two vacancies at the defensive tackle position, opposite Corey Peters. Gunter may have played nose tackle in a 3-4 defense in the past, but he also has the intangibles to excel as a 3-4 defensive tackle.
NT Danny Shelton
Peters will turn 31 in June and the Cardinals will want to improve their defensive line rotation. Danny Shelton fits the bill. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is tough as nails as a run-stuffing nose tackle. He doesn’t bring much as a pass rusher but for a team that was the worst in NFL at stopping the run last season, Shelton would certainly improve the Cardinals in that category. Plus, he could very well be their nose tackle of the future.
DL Brent Urban
Urban started every game of the 2018 season for the Ravens as a 3-4 defensive end. He’s big (6-7 300lbs) was one of the top run defenders in the NFL but again, doesn’t bring much to the pass rush category. But in Vance Joseph’s attacking 3-4 defense, he could see an uptick in production. The Cardinals haven’t had that tall of a defensive linemen since Calais Campbell. Urban will turn 28 in May and he would be an under-the-radar move that could turn one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in 2018 to one of the best in 2019.
DL Muhammad Wilkerson
He had three productive games with the Packers before landing on injury reserve for the rest of the 2018 season. His productive has declined since 2016 but with his extensive experience as a 3-4 defensive end/tackle for the Jets, the Cardinals should give him a chance. Because he underachieved the past three seasons, he won’t be an expensive target either. The Cardinals have to start filling the defensive line at some point.
Now, the Cardinals can’t sign everyone on this list. But at the very least, they should explore all of these options.