Arizona Cardinals: 4 Free Agents the Cards Must Target This Offseason
New general manager Steve Keim will have his plate full over the next few months. There are a handful of big-name free agents to choose from, but few are worthy of the contract they will receive.
The front office will be limited in terms of the salary-cap situation and will be looking to the draft to make most of their moves.
With that said, there should still be some room to sign a couple of free agents if contracts are restructured or players are let go.
Here are four players that the Cardinals must target in free agency.
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With Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews returning for another year at Michigan and Texas A&M, respectively, a once-stacked offensive line class became thin.
Many previous mock drafts had the Cardinals selecting one of these two men with the seventh overall pick. Now they will have to go all in for Luke Joeckel or look for someone in free agency.
The market is loaded with big-name offensive lineman this year. Guys like Jake Long, Ryan Clady and Jermon Bushrod will likely demand top dollar.
One player who may slide under the radar is Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert, who is one of the best in the game at his position.
Arizona does not have a terrible offensive line right now, especially with Levi Brown returning from injury; but Albert would be a huge upgrade over what they currently have and would allow them to focus elsewhere in the draft.
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Twenty-eight-year-old wideout Darius Reynaud enjoyed a breakout season with the Tennessee Titans this past season and would be a great free-agent signing for the Cardinals.
A special teams standout, Reynaud played in all 16 games for the Titans in 2012 and returned both kicks and punts.
He averaged over 13 yards per punt return while taking two to the house, and also returned 53 kicks, one of them a 105-yard touchdown against the Detroit Lions.
With Marc Mariani returning from injury for Tennessee, Reynaud will likely be looking for a new team come March.
The four-year veteran can be used on special teams, in the receiving game and out of the backfield. He would be a great weapon to have next year, especially if the Cards lose LaRod Stephens-Howling.
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Whether Arizona wants to stick with Kevin Kolb or bring in a rookie, they will need a solid backup quarterback that can compete for the starting job.
The 28-year-old has been in the league since 2007, starting 37 games between the Dolphins and Carolina Panthers.
Moore has been average for most of his career, but would have an enhanced offensive line and Larry Fitzgerald to work with here in the desert.
It would be in the Cardinals' best interest to offer him a contract. If they stick with Kolb, then they have a solid backup in case he goes down. If they draft a signal-caller and it takes him a while to grasp the system, then Moore can start a few games early on.
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It seems like every year I am making a pitch for the Cardinals to sign or trade for 49ers linebacker Larry Grant.
He is stuck at the bottom of the San Francisco depth chart behind Pro Bowlers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.
The 27-year-old Ohio State product has started in 11 games over a five-year career, recording 93 tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles.
Paris Lenon is a free agent this offseason and Stewart Bradley has been nearly invisible the past two years.
Releasing Bradley and signing Larry Grant will save the Cardinals money and add more talent to the roster.