The offseason is just as important as the regular season for most NFL teams. It is the time when teams are able to look toward the future without worrying about the present immediacy of the regular season.
Traditionally, the offseason is a time change. No team remains the same from one year to the next. Free agents move around the league. Trades occur between teams. The draft brings in fresh blood.
With the labor dispute cutting the offseason short for 2011, much of the training, planning and movement that normally occur was condensed into a shortened time frame or cancelled outright. Although football is back, it is still too early to know if the shortened offseason activity will impact the Cardinals' performance in 2011, and by how much.
This slideshow explores five potential moves the Arizona Cardinals could, and perhaps should have pursued even when taking the shortened offseason into consideration.
The analysis goes beyond the pursuit of particular free agents since it’s always easy to claim that a team should have pursued one big name or another. Instead, let us look at overlying trends that were not addressed well during the offseason and which may have serious impact in the weeks ahead.