If you're a fan of the NFL, Christmas really does come twice a year.
Free agency has now begun, so consider this your final destination for all things Cardinals. As things develop, we will be keeping you up to date on all of the latest rumors, reports, additions and subtractions. Not to mention we will be grading every transaction along the way.
Arizona's cap number currently sits at $109,985,441 according to Over the Cap, but that number will come down significantly if the Cardinals can restructure Kevin Kolb's contract. Also look for Bruce Arians and company to target a couple of big-name players right away. Both Rashard Mendenhall (via Rotoworld) and Dashon Goldson (via Rotoworld) are reportedly on their radar.
According to Kent Somers of AZCentral.com, Kevin Kolb is as good as gone if the Cardinals sign quarterback Drew Stanton.
Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Rashard Mendenhall is scheduling a visit with the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions.
Free agent inside linebacker Rey Maualuga just tweeted that he is on his way to Arizona to make an official visit.
Michael Fabiano of NFL.com now believes Rashard Mendenhall will wind up in Arizona after Reggie Bush was taken off the market.
Pro Football Talk believes Nnamdi Asomugha has four potential landing spots. One of those four spots is Arizona.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the Cardinals are expected to release Kevin Kolb over the next few days.
Adam Schefter of ESPN says defensive end Matt Shaugnessy is spending his Thursday night visiting the Arizona Cardinals.
Adam Caplan tweeted moments ago that Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals couldn't agree on a contract restructure, so he will be released later today.
S Rashad Johnson: Re-signed for three years, but the terms of the agreement are not yet known.
RB Rashard Mendenhall: Agreed in principle to a one-year deal. Mendenhall will make $2.5 million in 2013 and will have the opportunity to make another $1 million in incentives.
LB Lorenzo Alexander: Signed a three-year deal. No financial terms have been announced as of yet.
QB Drew Stanton: Signed a three-year deal worth $8.2 million, and $3 million is guaranteed.
S Yeremiah Bell: Signed a one-year deal. His base salary is $840,000, plus a $65,000 signing bonus.
CB Jerraud Powers: Signed a three-year deal. The contract is worth $10.5 million total with a $3 million signing bonus.
LB Jasper Brinkley: Signed a two-year deal. No financial terms have been announced as of yet.
DE Matt Shaugnessy: Signed a one-year deal. No financial terms have been announced as of yet.
CB Antoine Cason: Signed a one-year deal. It's reportedly in the $2 million neighborhood.
CB Greg Toler: Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted a short time ago that they have signed Cardinals' cornerback Greg Toler.
S Kerry Rhodes: Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported, just moments ago, that safety Kerry Rhodes has been released. The move saves the Cardinals $6 million total.
QB Kevin Kolb: Kent Somers of azcentral.com reports that Kevin Kolb has indeed been cut. The move creates $7.5 million in additional cap space. However, Arizona still owes him $6 million in dead money.
When starting safety Adrian Wilson got the ax earlier this week, the writing was on the wall that Cardinals were now in the market to re-sign reserve safety Rashad Johnson. Johnson was a third-round pick in 2009, and over the course of the last four years has made significant strides.
Last season alone Johnson started three games, recorded two interceptions and had a quarterback rating against of 79.2—impressive numbers considering he only played 166 defensive snaps. Not to mention he also spent a decent amount of time playing special teams in the desert.
However, it's safe to assume he will no longer be needed in that role. Chances are his re-signing set it in stone that he would now be starting on the back end of Todd Bowles' defense. His new deal has a contractual length of three years, but no dollar amounts have been released to go along with the length of the contract.
I will update this post once all the details are in with an overall transaction grade.
After releasing Beanie Wells, Arizona had a large glaring hole at the running back position. Today that hole got a little bit smaller with the signing of Rashard Mendenhall. It's no surprise Mendenhall was a target of Arizona's, he spent a great deal of time with newly appointed head coach Bruce Arians while the two were together in Pittsburgh.
The former first-round pick has had a bit of a up and down career to say the least. From 2009-2011 he piled up 3,309 yards rushing, scored 29 touchdowns and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Yet all those prior accomplishments were soon forgotten in 2012 because Mendenhall was recovering from a prior ACL injury and a more current Achilles injury.
Which is exactly why Mendenhall was essentially given a one-year, $2.5 million prove it deal. The Cardinals want to make sure he is fully recovered from any past injuries before they invest in him long-term.
I'm a big fan of this move because Mendenhall has proven he can play at a high level in the past. He just needs to show Arizona that his injury problems are behind him. The low-risk deal gets an A- in my book.