Arizona Cardinals: 4 Biggest Mistakes the Front Office Has Made in 2011
The offseason is a crucial time for NFL teams. They have time to evaluate players, assess their weaknesses and make the necessary changes.
Some teams chose to hunker down and build through the draft, while others look to free agency to develop a strong team.
The Philadelphia Eagles supposedly built a "dream team" through free agent signings—they just forgot to wake up and play.
The Arizona Cardinal's front office also slept through the 2011 offseason in four major ways.
Hammer it below to find out how.
Bought a Porsche with No Insurance
The picture to the left represents the Arizona Cardinals offense this season. Quarterback Kevin Kolb laying either face down or on his back and his offensive line helping him up.
His offensive line needs to come to his rescue during the play, not after it.
In the preseason, Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald threatened to leave the franchise if it didn't address the quarterback position. Fitzgerald was working out with quarterback Kevin Kolb during the offseason, so he was the obvious choice.
Whether or not Kolb was the best quarterback to bring in or not remains to be seen. The reason is that Kolb doesn't have any protection to showcase his talent.
The front office brings in a Porsche—okay, maybe a fully loaded Lexus—and doesn't buy any insurance for the acquisition.
Sure, they signed free-agent guard Daryn Colledge, but frankly, he's not very good.
The biggest mistake was not addressing the left tackle position. Left tackle Levi Brown cannot stop any pass rush in the league. At some point they need to change the LT by his name because he simply is not a left tackle.
Even worse, the front office decided not to draft a single offensive lineman in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Last year the Cardinals offensive line allowed 50 sacks, which was the forth-highest in the NFL. So far this season, Arizona has allowed 27 sacks, the third-highest of all teams.
The line has gone unaddressed for too long. Appreciable changes need to be made this coming offseason.
Allowed Wide Receiver Steve Breaston to Walk
On the second day of the shortened free agency period in the 2011, the Kansas City Chiefs signed former Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Steve Breaston to a five-year deal worth $9.5 in guaranteed money.
By allowing the talented wideout to leave the desert, the Cardinals took a huge hit at wide receiver.
The Cardinals are relying on Andre Roberts to play opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Breaston is miles ahead of Roberts.
This season, Breaston has eight catches for 20 yards or longer—Roberts caught his first catch for 20 yards exactly in Week 9 against the St. Louis Rams. Breaston has racked up 29 catches, 450 receiving yards and two touchdowns—Roberts has 18 catches for 188 yards and hasn't seen the end zone yet.
The Cardinals were worried about Breaston's knee issues, but Breaston has suited up for every game with the Chiefs.
The front office losing a top talent at wide receiver who knows the system well when they just acquired a new quarterback (Kevin Kolb) was a blunder of epic proportions.
Hightower Hitting the Highway
Having depth at each position is how you keep winning in the NFL. When the Arizona Cardinals traded away running back Tim Hightower to the Washington Redskins, not only did they lose a late-round draft pick, but they lost much-needed depth and experience in the backfield.
Starting running back Beanie Wells is injury prone. Anyone who knows the name Beanie Wells knows that he susceptible to getting bit by the injury bug.
And yes, the Cardinals did draft a quality running back in Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, but it's not wise to have to rely on a rookie.
Having the one-two punch of Wells and Hightower would've served the organization well.
It's deja vu with Wells playing through a banged up knee; we know where his season is headed. And as goes Wells, so go the Cardinals.
Not Bringing in Help for Kevin Kolb
Free-agent Terrell Owens is desperate to play for an NFL team. In 1996, Owens was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Since that time he has played for a total of five teams: 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals, respectively.
Unlike Randy Moss, this guy will play for anyone.
Simply put, he's broke.
Over the past week, Owens has asked courts to modify his existing child support obligations because, as T.O. himself puts it: "My current monthly income is zero ($0)."
He has a total monthly child support obligation of $44,602 for four children with four different women.
The Arizona Cardinals could sign Owens to a low-cost deal and instantly give the offense more explosiveness, even if it didn't come through Owens directly.
Having a talent like Owens on the field will free up the double and triple teams that Fitzgerald enjoys on a regular basis. It will also help take an extra safety out of the box, allowing running back Wells more room to roam.
Signing a guy like Owens comes with some risk, but so does losing six out of eight games. It's time for the front office to act on Owens and help him pay his baby momma(s)(s)(s).