Arizona Cardinals Are Quiet at the Beginning of NFL Free Agency

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IMarch 12, 2013

The Cardinals have a decision to make about Kevin Kolb.
The Cardinals have a decision to make about Kevin Kolb.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL transactions seem to be coming fast and furious, but one thing seems to be very clear: The Arizona Cardinals are likely to be staying out of the high-priced shopping, waiting for the free-agent dust to settle instead.

Arizona has been linked to a few players, but given that the Cards only have roughly $10 million in salary cap space to work with, according to this article from B/R's James Dudko, they don't have the ability to sign major free agents.

The big question for the Cardinals is what new head coach Bruce Arians plans to do about the quarterback position.

The Cards need to make a decision on a $2 million dollar bonus on starter Kevin Kolb by this weekend. If the Cards cut Kolb, it would increase the salary cap space to roughly $16.5 million, but remove the Cards' starting QB.

Quarterback Drew Stanton is rumored to be on the Cards' shopping list, meaning the team might be contemplating moving in another direction under center for next season.

Brian Hoyer was already given a second-round tender offer from the Cards, meaning that Arizona plans on holding on to him. Stanton was on the Indianapolis Colts last season during Arians' time as interim head coach.

The other main area that the team needs to address is the offensive line. Giving that the O-line is an area of strength and depth in this upcoming draft, the Cardinals might be able to address most of their needs through the draft.

Mentioned within the Stanton rumor is the fact that Rashard Mendenhall is confirmed to be headed to the desert as well, despite a report from Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk stating that Mendenhall was likely to sign with the Denver Broncos.

Mendenhall is exactly the type of low-risk, high-reward player that the Cardinals should be taking a flyer on, especially given his experience working with Arians on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The fact that Mendenhall is on a plane to Phoenix is a good sign, and the Cards need a primary running back.  

Cardinals' general manager Steve Keim has already shown the ability to make the tough decisions during his short period at the helm by cutting Beanie Wells, Early Doucet, Adrian Wilson, Stewart Bradley and William Gay.

All of those draft picks or free agents signify different areas where the Cards made poor decisions, leaving the team with less depth and very little salary cap space.

Arizona was able to re-sign Rashad Johnson to a three-year deal for the promising safety.

The only player that the team probably regrets losing so far was Greg Toler to the Colts on a three-year deal.

The Cards are likely to be more active tomorrow.  

Information used from Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk, Mike Jurecki/910 KTAR,, Darren Urban/AZ Cardinals, NFL/