The Arizona Cardinals made it official on Wednesday by announcing the signing of defensive tackle Terrell McClain to a one-year contract. McClain will join a front that includes Corey Peters, Darius Philon, Rodney Gunter, Zach Allen and others, and the defensive line is now looking much more solid than it was a month ago.
So with the D-Line shored up, GM Steve Keim can turn his attention elsewhere to bolster other positions in need of more veteran presence. Which positions might those be? Let’s take a look at a couple of possibilities.
With Patrick Peterson being suspended for the first 6 games of the 2019 season, this position seems like an obvious one that the Cardinals may look to address. The team seems to have plenty of faith in newcomers Robert Alford, Tramaine Brock and Byron Murphy, but none of them are going to be able to immediately replicate what Peterson brings to the table. That said, no one left on the free agent market is going to be able to do that either.
If the Cardinals can look to bring in one more veteran corner to compete and perhaps push for that second corner spot opposite of Alford for the first six weeks, and do so on the cheap, that may be something they look at.
The biggest question with this position still remains: how much does the team trust Haason Reddick to finally show why he was a first round pick? The signing of Jordan Hicks to a four-year deal seems to express that they still believe they need some help. And with Hicks, you do have the risk of relying to heavily on a guy with a somewhat extensive injury history.
Gerald Hodges is a guy that played well for the Cardinals in stints last year and it has been reported that he has decided not to retire after all and wants to play in 2019. The Cardinals could look to him as an option or someone else to add some more veteran depth.
This is the position that the Cardinals may be playing with fire on the most. A starting tackle duo of D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert appears to be decent on paper, but both players have battled the injury bug throughout their entire careers. To rely on each of them to stay healthy for 16 games may be too much to ask for.
Behind Humphries and Gilbert are Will Holden and Korey Cunningham, two late round draft picks of the Cardinals from the past couple of years. Cunningham is a guy that showed a lot of promise before getting hurt himself, so maybe they decide to rely on him to play either tackle position should one of the starters go down. Donald Penn, despite being age 36, is a guy that may still have some gas left in the tank and could start in a pinch if the team needed.
What are your thoughts? What positions would you like to see the Cardinals fill in free agency?