Assuming they get a new collective bargaining agreement done, NFL Free Agency is scheduled to begin on March 3, 2011. I'm going to go through every team between now and then and identify their top five free agents and try to determine what should be done with each player, be it re-sign them or let them walk. I've been going team by team in draft order and am at the team with the fifth pick in the draft, the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals were one of many NFL teams that failed to live up to expectations in 2010. Coming off winning the NFC West two years in a row, many expected the Cardinals to run away with the weak division once again. Few people anticipated what would happen to the offense without Kurt Warner at the helm. The NFL's 14th-ranked passing offense last year fell 31st this year and their already bad rushing attack fell to last in the league.
In 2009, Kurt Warner and Matt Leinhart combined to throw for over 4000 yards and completed over 66% of their passes. This year, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton and Richard Bartel all played quarterback for the Cards and failed to break 3000 yards passing combined. None of them managed to break the 58% mark for completion percentage.
Needless to say, the quarterback play downed this team in 2010. The Cardinals will have to acknowledge that as they evaluate their own personnel this offseason. They have a handful of players whose contracts are up that appear to have talent. The difficulty is determining who looked good because the talent level around them was so bad, and who was actually better than they looked, but was being held back by their teammates poor play.