Heading toward 2020 free agency, the Arizona Cardinals have inside intel on a number of outside free agents who would appear to be very good fits.
It is my belief that GM Steve Keim is listening very closely to the coaches and is taking requests.
After all, there is no better intel on free agents who have played for some of the coaches somewhere along the line. It makes the vetting process quick and easy.
Here is a guess as to the free agent requests that are on Steve Keim’s rolodex:
From Kliff Kingsbury:
- RB DeAndre Washington (Raiders)—-76.5 (#12 RB) in 2019—-multi-dimensional RB who starred in the K-Raid at Texas Tech. Salary likely in the $3M a year range.
- LT Le’Raven Clark (Colts)—-67.6 (2018)—-was an All-Amercan T in the K-Raid who helped QB Patrick Mahomes pass for 4,653 yards, 36 TDs and rush for 456 yards and 10 TDs—-and—-who helped DeAndre Washington rush for 1,492 yards, 14 TDs and add 385 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Salary Estimate: $3M on a 1 year prove it deal.
From Sean Kugler:
- C Connor McGovern (Broncos)—-71.9 (#11 C in 2019)—-in 2018 Kugler tabbed McGovern to fill the void at center when Matt Paradis was injured. McGovern is coming off a very good second season as the Broncos’ center, thus Kugler will have to make a strong bid to acquire him. Salary Estimate: $5M a year.
- WR Emmanuel Sanders (49ers)—-77.8 (#21 WR in 2019)—-Kugler knows first-hand how special Sanders is in opening up an offense and now so does Patrick Peterson (not at his best, but still, Sanders is outstanding). The Cardinals could use a savvy veteran and would love to snag him away from the 49ers. Salary Estimate: $8M a year.
From James Saxon:
- G/C B.J. Finney (Steelers)—-56.5 ((#32 C in 2019)—-Finney is a highly versatile OL who can play G and C and even pitch in at T if needed. His pass blocking grades the past 4 years as a fill-in starter at guard were very good (90.4 in 165 snaps in 2018). Salary Estimate: $3M a year.
From Vance Joseph:
- DT Shelby Harris (Broncos—-pictured above)—-76.8 (#17 DI)—-Harris has emerged as one of the NFL’s most physical and reliable run stuffers. He is an excellent tackler and this past season he broke out with 6 sacks and 22 QB hurries. Estimated Salary: $8M a year.
- S Will Parks (Broncos)—-58.1 (#78 CB in 2019)—-Parks had his best season as a pro playing safety and nickel CB at times for Vance Jospeh in 2018 (74.0 in 2018). Parks would round out a young talented safety group. Salary Estimate: $2M a year.
From Jim Dray:
- CB Damarious Randall (Browns)—-69.3 (#40 S in 2019)—-the best thing for the talented Randall would be to come home to Arizona. His helmet to helmet hit against the Steelers created a controversy to the extent that Randall receiving death threats on social media and Freddie Kitchens decided not bring him to Pittsburgh for their rematch. Jim Dray could vouch for Randall. Salary Estimate: $2M prove it deal.
From Jeff Rodgers (via his Bears connections):
- LB Nick Kwiatowski (Bears)—-72.6 (#16 LB in 2019)—-Kwiatowski stepped into the starting lineup at MLB this season for the last 7 games and recorded 51 tackles, 3 sacks and a pass coverage grade of 68.4. On STs he’s thrived, earning a stellar 90.0 ST grade this season (8 tackles). The aggressive Kwiatowski could be a nice fit at WILB and help to make the Cardinals’ STs elite. Estimated Salary: $4M a year, plus incentives.
- DT Nick Williams (Bears)—-67.7 (#51 DI in 2019)—-Williams is an ascending DT who also excels on STs. He recorded 24 tackles and 6 sacks in 2019. Estimated Salary: $5M a year.
Other Potential UFAs with ties to Cardinals’ coaches:
QB Case Keenum—-55.0 in 2019
QB Brett Hundley—-80.2 in 2019
RB Kenyan Drake—-71.2 (#25 RB in 2019)
TE Charles Clay—-64.5 (#29 TE in 2019)
WR Damiere Byrd—-64.4 (#78 WR in 2019)
WR Pharoh Cooper—-70.2 in 2019
T Marcus Gilbert—-IR
G/C Max Garcia—-DNP
T D.J. Humphries—-64.7 (#47 T in 2019)
C A.Q. Shipley—-57.6 (#30 C in 2019)
CB Chris Harris (67.9—-#34 CB in 2019)
DI Derek Wolfe (68.5—-#46 DI in 2019)—-dislocated elbow in December
DI Adam Gotsis (59.8—-#84 DI in 2019)—-ACL surgery in December
FS Justin Simmons (90.8—-#2 S in 2019)—-likely franchise tag
DI Zach Kerr (69.5—-#42 DI in 2019)
DI Rodney Gunter (64.8—-# 66 DI in 2019)
OLB Cassius Marsh (63.1—-#69 Edge in 2019)
DI Jonathan Bullard (56.2—-#93 DI in 2019)
WR Rashard Higgins—-53.6 in 2019
T Greg Robinson—-66.9 (#41 T in 2019)
LB Joe Schobert—-59.1 (#48 LB in 2019)
S Justin Burris—-69.5 (#36 S in 2019)
CB Eric Murray—-62.5 (#66 CB in 2019)