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Cardinals’ Free Agents: Market Values

Syndication: Arizona Republic Michael Chow-Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yesterday on Twitter, Kyle Odegard posted PFF’s projected “annual values for the Cardinals’ free agents” and I felt compelled to offer what I consider more realistic assessments.

Although, the salary cap will be significantly more than last year’s, I am of the belief that aside from the first two days of lavish spending, after the market settles down, free agent contracts will trend toward the modest side.

In my opinion, the only Cardinals’ free agent who might get signed over the first two days is OLB/DE Chandler Jones (pictured above chasing Matthew Stafford). Now, Kyle Odegard is the odds’ expert, but if I were to guess Chandlers’ odds of being signed quickly I would say they are probably less than 50% because it’s difficult to imagine that Chandler, whose production has dropped some over the past two seasons, will get a $16.5M a year contract.

OLB/DE Chandler Jones, 31, ARI

Upside —- still brings consistent pressure off the edge. Trent Williams lauds Chandler’s skill.

Question Marks—- age (31.8), recent drop in sack totals, scheme fit

PFF Market Value: $16.8M

Spotrac Market Value: Market Value

  • 3 yrs, $42,169,929
  • Avg. Salary: $14,056,643
  • NFL Rank: 116
  • OLB Rank: 14

UFA OLB Comparison: (per Spotrac’s numbers)

Note: I am making the comparison of players and providing Spotrac’s salary projections.

Von Miller, 32, LAR, Market Value

  • 2 yrs, $17,970,772
  • Avg. Salary: $8,985,386
  • NFL Rank: 220
  • OLB Rank: 24

I think Spotrac is too high on Jones and too low on Miller. Plus, for 34 teams, Miller brings a more diverse skill set.

My guess is that Jones and Miller will both get 2-3 year deals in the $11-12M range (with incentives that will make the contract look bigger).. Of course, the key figures will be guaranteed money and production incentives. Therefore, I believe that Von Miller will get more guaranteed money than Chandler, but Chandler may get a more lucrative incentives package.

Best Value for Cardinals: Von Miller

WR Christian Kirk

Upside: coming off his most productive season, ability to track deep passes, only 25

Question Marks: is he a legit WR2? Can he play the traditional slot WR role? Is he a RAC and punt return threat?

PFF Market Value: $11.7M

UFA WR Comparison (per Spotrac.com)

Christian Kirk (25, 5-11, 200, 4.47) Market Value

  • 4 yrs, $47,572,532
  • Avg. Salary: $11,893,133
  • NFL Rank: 149
  • WR Rank: 19

Cedric Wilson (26, DAL, 6-2, 200, 4.55) Market Value

  • 3 yrs, $19,394,196
  • Avg. Salary: $6,464,732
  • NFL Rank: 279
  • WR Rank: 31

Byron Pringle (28, KC, 6-0, 203, 4.46) Market Value

  • 1 yrs, $3,277,579
  • Avg. Salary: $3,277,579
  • NFL Rank: 511
  • WR Rank: 53

Sleeper:

Kalif Raymond (27, DET, 5-8, 187, 4.34) Market Value

  • 1 yrs, $2,940,024
  • Avg. Salary: $2,940,024
  • NFL Rank: 572
  • WR Rank: 58

I would be very surprised if a team would consider and pay Christian Kirk as a WR2. Therefore, if teams view him as a WR3, he will most likely get a deal in the $3-4M range.

Best Value For Cardinals: Byron Pringle or Kalil Raymond

Wild Card UFA WRs for Cardinals:

  • JuJu Smith Schuster, PIT, 6-1, 215, 4.54 (James Conner Connection)
  • James Washington, PIT, 5-11, 213, 4.54 (Conner Connection)
  • Jakeem Grant, CHI, 5-7, 171, 4.38 (Kingsbury Texas Tech Connection)
  • Keelan Cole, NYJ, 6-1, 194, 4.56 (Sleeper)

Wild Guess UFA WR2 Signing for Cardinals: D.J. Chark, JAC, 6-4, 196, 4.3

Market Value

  • 4 yrs, $47,625,492
  • Avg. Salary: $11,906,373
  • NFL Rank: 157
  • WR Rank: 22

Zach Ertz (31, ARI, 6-5, 250, 4.76)

Upside: chemistry with Kyler and Colt, productive, red zone threat, leader

Question Marks: age, durability

PFF Market Value: $11M

UFA TE Comparison (per Spotrac.com)

Zach Ertz (31, ARI, 6-5, 250, 4.76) Market Value

  • 3 yrs, $21,297,228
  • Avg. Salary: $7,099,076
  • NFL Rank: 293
  • TE Rank: 15

C.J. Uzomah (29, CIN, 6-6, 260, 4.64) Market Value

  • 3 yrs, $32,286,597
  • Avg. Salary: $10,762,199
  • NFL Rank: 174
  • TE Rank: 6

David Njoku (26, CLE, 6-4, 246, 4.64) Market Value

  • 4 yrs, $27,696,461
  • Avg. Salary: $6,924,115
  • NFL Rank: 294
  • TE Rank: 15

Best Value for Cardinals: I think that if Zach Ertz is willing to sign in the $6-7M range, then, because of how well he fit in the Cardinals’ offense, he’s the best value. If he wants more than $6-7M, then signing David Njoku for 4 years at $6.9M a year would be a good move.

Note: While PFF projects Maxx Williams at $6.3M, that figure might have been before his knee injury. I believe that the Cardinals will also re-sign Maxx Williams to a deal in the $2-3M range, plus incentives.

UFA Wild Cards at TE:

  • Moe Alie-Cox, 28, IND, 6-5, 267, 4.75
  • Robert Tonyan, 27, GB, 6-5, 237, 4.50

RB James Conner (26, ARI, 6-1, 233, 4.65)

Upside: Tough as nails, tremendous nose for the end zone, surprisingly versatile

Question Marks: durability

PFF Market Value: $6.4M

Spotrac Market Value: James Conner

  • 2 yrs, $11,952,244
  • Avg. Salary: $5,976,122
  • NFL Rank: 326
  • RB Rank: 14

RB Chase Edmonds (25, ARI, 5-9, 205, 4.55)

Upside: Excellent dual-threat versatility, nifty feet, sure hands, willing blocker

Question Marks: durability

PFF Market Value: $6M

Sportrac Market Value: Chase Edmonds:

  • 3 yrs, $15,822,447
  • Avg. Salary: $5,274,149
  • NFL Rank: 360
  • RB Rank: 16

Best Value for Cardinals: James Conner, because of his superior physicality and red zone production. I think that Conner will command $5M a year. With Chase Edmonds it’s harder to say, because he hasn’t proven to be a bell cow RB1, but, when healthy, he obviously is a very talented RB2. If Chase doesn’t get $5-6M a year, it’s quite possible he could sign a one year incentives-loaded deal with the Cardinals to try to improve his market for 2023. That could be a coup all the way around.

CB Robert Alford (33, ARI, 5-10, 188, 4.38)

Upside: coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, his 66.9 PFF grade is 2nd best in his career, as is his 68.5 pass coverage grade.

Question Marks: age, durability

PFF Market Value: $5M

It would be hard to imagine any team paying Robert Alford $5M at his age and with his recent issues with season-ending injuries. However, I think it’s quite possible that the Cardinals and Alford could agree to another one year deal with a $1.5M base and loaded with performance incentives.

Best Value for Cardinals: Charvarius Ward (26, KC, 6-1. 198, 4.4): PFF Market Value: $9.5M a year —- sticky in coverage and as tough/reliable as they come as a tackler.

What are your thoughts, salary assessments and hopes with regard to the Cardinals’ own free agents and other players on the market?