After watching the Arizona Cardinals finish their last nine games with a 7-2 record, there's a level of excitement in January for their 2012 campaign.
Now comes the part of the year where the die-hard fans examine which free agents are available and who would be the perfect fit for their team.
The Cardinals obviously have needs. Their offensive line was porous this year, and they could use some more depth at inside linebacker. Oh, and of course, the quarterback situation needs to be addressed.
Here are a list of eight free agents that Arizona should at least consider bringing in the fold to make the team contend with the San Francisco 49ers and the rapidly improving NFC West.
First of all, take care of your own first. Nobody has earned his keep as well as Calais Campbell did in 2011. Imagine the difference the season would have without a few blocked field goals or defensive sacks that Campbell was responsible for.
This is a no-brainer.
Another no-brainer. If Peyton is available, the Cardinals need to take the chance. Thinking of the Manning to Fitzgerald combination is enough to make any Cardinals fan salivate just a little bit.
Even beyond just the possibility of throwing to Fitzgerald, think of the impact that Manning would have on the development of Andre Roberts, Demarco Sampson and Early Doucet.
It's a long-shot, but let's keep the positivity energy flowing.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of waiting on Early Doucet to develop, and after that dropped pass in the end zone in the Cincinnati game, I was ready to put a for sale sign up on his jersey.
Imagine Dwayne Bowe wearing a different type of red jersey. Imagine him on one side and Fitzgerald lined up on the other. This will not only cut down on the double-teams that Larry would see, but also give the Cardinals another big-play threat.
Here is an another great receiver that would benefit from the tutelage of Larry Fitzgerald. Desean Jackson did not have the best year at all in Philadelphia. The fans got tired of his selfish act really quick and made it known in several instances during the year.
He was benched against the Cardinals in November and had more dropped passes than any other year.
So why should the Cardinals take a chance on him?
Hmm. Let me get back to you.
He's been very injury-prone, but when Landry is healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with. I'm a big fan of Adrian Wilson, but he isn't getting any younger. He had a Pro Bowl year in 2011, but I wonder how big of a contributor Landry could be.
This may be more wishful thinking than anything, but the Cardinals should consider it.
I'm sure the Cardinals will address their offensive line through the draft, but since you can't really trust Deuce Lutui's weight, this may not be a bad pickup via free agency.
The cornerback position was a sore spot for the Cardinals this year, but that was largely due to injury. Greg Toler was coming into the position quite nicely before tearing his ACL before the season began. Sadly, the Cardinals secondary probably cost them three games this year, and you can imagine what three extra wins could have done this year.
Patrick Peterson is going to be a star, but he is not exactly a star cornerback yet. This could be a nice steal for the Cardinals, but the price will not be cheap.