2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Arizona Cardinals Free Agents:
William Gay, CB, Steelers. Age: 27.
Signed with Cardinals
William Gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) was inserting (or inserted) into the starting lineup in late September and did a decent job. He has really struggled in the past, however, and the 30-yard touchdown he surrendered to Eddie Royal in the playoff loss was not a good sign.
- Adam Snyder, G, 49ers. Age: 30. -- Signed with Cardinals (5 years)
- Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Raiders. Age: 28. -- Signed with Cardinals
- James Sanders, SS, Falcons. Age: 28. -- Signed with Cardinals
2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon
Divisional Rival History:
San Francisco 49ers:
Calais Campbell, DE/DT, Cardinals. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Cardinals (5 years, $55 million; $31 million guaranteed)
You could argue that aside from Justin Smith, Calais Campbell is the best 3-4 defensive end in all of football. Campbell has no weaknesses; he's a ferocious pass-rusher, he blocks kicks, and he can even drop into coverage pretty well. And he'll be 25 until Sept. 1.
Richard Marshall, CB, Cardinals. Age: 27.
Signed with Dolphins (3 years, $16 million; $6 million guaranteed)
Richard Marshall played pretty well at corner in the second half of the year. He was also effective in stepping in for an injured Kerry Rhodes at free safety.
Dave Zastudil, P, Cardinals. Age: 33.
Re-signed with Cardinals (2 years)
Dave Zastudil had a pretty good year, maintaining a 45.2 average with 24-of-87 attempts inside the 20.
Greg Toler (RFA), CB, Cardinals. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Cardinals (1 year, $1.26 million)
Greg Toler played well in 2010, but missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
Jay Feely, K, Cardinals. Age: 36.
Re-signed with Cardinals (2 years)
Jay Feely just had his worst year as a pro, going 19-of-24 on attempts. He had two misses from inside the 40.
Levi Brown, OT, Cardinals. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Cardinals (5 years)
Levi Brown has played poorly throughout most of his Cardinal career, though he did perform better toward the end of the 2011 season, perhaps knowing that he'd be a free agent this spring.
- LaRod Stephens-Howling (RFA), RB/KR, Cardinals. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (1 year, $1.927 million)
- Brandon Keith, OT, Cardinals. Age: 27.
- Early Doucet, WR, Cardinals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (2 years)
- Rashad Johnson (RFA), FS, Cardinals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (1 year, $1.26 million)
- Rex Hadnot, G, Cardinals. Age: 30. -- Signed with Chargers
- Clark Haggans, DE/OLB, Cardinals. Age: 35. -- Re-signed with Cardinals
- Vonnie Holliday, DE/DT, Cardinals. Age: 36. -- Re-signed with Cardinals
- Reggie Walker (RFA), ILB, Cardinals. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (2 years)
- Joey Porter, DE/OLB, Cardinals. Age: 35.
- Pork Chop Womack, G, Cardinals. Age: 33.
- Deuce Lutui, G, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Seahawks
- Chester Taylor, RB, Cardinals. Age: 32.
- D'Anthony Batiste, OT, Cardinals. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Cardinals
- Hamza Abdullah, S, Cardinals. Age: 29.
- Sean Considine, S, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Ravens
- Chansi Stuckey, WR, Cardinals. Age: 28.
- Max Hall, QB, Cardinals. Age: 26.
The 49ers get up for these games; they've taken six of the past eight in this rivalry.
Arizona won six of seven prior to the 2010 season. Kurt Warner's absence hurt, as the Seahawks have won three of the past four this series.
St. Louis Rams:
Arizona has won 11 of the past 13 matchups in this series.
Features to be Posted This Offseason:
More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:
- 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
- Detailed season preview
- Fantasy football projections
- Positional rankings
- Daily updates on free-agent signings
2012 NFL Offseason Pages
2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 12
2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 11
NFL Free Agents
NFL Picks - Feb. 7
2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15
2012 NFL Draft Grade: A-
Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft:
Upgrading the quarterback position is out of the question because the Cardinals just paid Kevin Kolb's $7 million option bonus. They'll have to bolster his offensive line and receiving corps instead. A pass-rusher is also needed across from Sam Acho.
2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
Larry Fitzgerald wanted Michael Floyd, so opponents wouldn't be able to constantly use bracket coverage on him. The front office made his wish come true. I'd say it's always a great idea to listen to your superstar, but Fitzgerald also pleaded for Kolb.
Still, Floyd should be a great addition to Arizona's roster. He projects as a fantastic No. 2 wideout, and he should be able to post big numbers once the Cardinals upgrade the quarterback position.
The Cardinals spent later picks to fix the offensive line. Bobby Massie was an absolute steal in Round 4. Senio Kelemete also provided good value in the next round. Nate Potter, the team's final selection, has the potential to start.
I really liked Arizona's draft overall. The only issue I have is that the front office didn't obtain a much-needed pass-rusher.
2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
13. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: A- Grade
The minus is because the Cardinals didn't secure some protection for injury-prone Kevin Kolb, but Michael Floyd is a really good pick. Arizona needed someone to prevent the opposition from using bracket coverage on Larry Fitzgerald. This is the guy Fitzgerald wanted, so who am I to argue?
80. Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma: B Grade
Jamell Fleming fits the range and fills a need, as Arizona had to find cornerback depth. This is a solid selection.
112. Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss: A+ Grade
How the hell did Bobby Massie fall to No. 112? Some thought he could sneak into the bottom of the first round. If you told the Cardinals going into the 2012 NFL Draft that they could land both Michael Floyd and Massie, they would have jumped for joy.
151. Senio Kelemete, G, Washington: B+ Grade
Another much-needed possible upgrade to the offensive line. Senio Kelemete fits the blocking scheme really well. Round 5 is the right spot for him.
177. Justin Bethel, S, Presbyterian: B+ Grade
Justin Bethel was No. 180 on the consensus board, so this is the exact range for him. The pick makes sense in that Arizona had very little safety depth entering this weekend.
185. Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State: A+ Grade
I really like this pick. Ryan Lindley is a favorite of Bill Polian and Ron Jaworski. He could have gone in Rounds 3 or 4, so he's a steal at this spot. The Cardinals missed out on Peyton Manning and Kevin Kolb is injury-prone, so adding some competition at quarterback was imperative.
221. Nate Potter, OT/G: A Grade
I love the three selections the Cardinals made to improve their offensive line on Saturday. Nate Potter was a Round 4-5 prospect, and Arizona will love his versatility to play three positions up front.
This was not what the Cardinals had in mind when they traded a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kevin Kolb. Kolb completed 57.7 percent of his passes, tossed just one more touchdown (9) than amount of interceptions (8), and battled through concussions all year. He was also outplayed by John Skelton, who has a knack for winning in the clutch.
Cardinals re-sign DE/DT Vonnie Holliday
Cardinals re-sign DE/OLB Clark Haggans
Cardinals re-sign S Rashad Johnson
Cardinals re-sign RB/KR LaRod Stephens-Howling
Seahawks sign G Deuce Lutui
Cardinals sign S James Sanders
Cardinals release QB Max Hall
Cardinals re-sign P Dave Zastudil
Cardinals re-sign CB Greg Toler
Cardinals re-sign ILB Reggie Walker
Cardinals sign CB William Gay
Cardinals re-sign K Jay Feely
Ravens sign S Sean Considine
Cardinals re-sign OT D'Anthony Batiste
Cardinals re-sign WR Early Doucet
Cardinals cut G Rex Hadnot
Cardinals cut WR Chansi Stuckey
Cardinals re-sign OT Levi Brown
Dolphins sign CB Richard Marshall
Cardinals sign G/OT Adam Snyder
Cardinals cut OT Levi Brown
- Two Offensive Tackles: Levi Brown was cut, so the Cardinals will have to bolster both tackle positions. Jonathan Martin will be an option at No. 13 this April because Arizona must protect its investment in Kevin Kolb (or Peyton Manning). Re-signed Levi Brown; drafted Bobby Massie
- Wide Receiver: Defenses often use bracket coverage on Larry Fitzgerald because he's the only threat on the field. Andre Roberts came on late, but the Cardinals may want to use the No. 13 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffery. Drafted Michael Floyd
- Inside Linebacker: Stewart Bradley was a colossal free-agent bust, and he will be cut if it makes sense financially. That's why I currently have Luke Kuechly going to the Cardinals in my 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
- Defensive End Depth: Calais Campbell is a free agent who will need to be brought back. Arizona could also use depth in this area. Franchised Calais Campbell
- Rush Linebacker: The Cardinals need to bring in a pass-rusher to challenge O'Brien Schofield for the right to start across from Sam Acho, who had a solid rookie campaign.
- Right Guard: Rex Hadnot was OK early on, but really struggled down the stretch. He can definitely be upgraded. Signed Adam Snyder; drafted Senio Kelemete
- Cornerback Depth: Like most teams, Arizona could use corner depth. A.J. Jefferson was torched often in 2011. Signed William Gay; re-signed Greg Toler; drafted Jamell Fleming
- Quarterback: I'm listing a quarterback here, but unless the Cardinals can trade up for Robert Griffin, acquire Peyton Manning or blackmail Kurt Warner into returning, they'll have to go with John Skelton and Kolb again.
- Backup Nose Tackle: The Cardinals cannot have a sieve like Nick Eason playing again in the event that Dan Williams goes down.
- Kicker and Punter: Both special-teamers, Jay Feely and Dave Zastudil, are free agents. Re-signed Jay Feely and Dave Zastudil
2012 Arizona Cardinals Analysis: No one seemed to notice, but the Cardinals finished unbelievably strong last season. They went 7-2 in their final nine contests, with one of the losses coming at Cincinnati, where a receiver tripped over his own two feet and lost a chance to score the tying touchdown.
That late-season surge will carry over into 2012. Arizona has an outstanding defense, a couple of dynamic offensive play-makers, an improved offensive line and a young quarterback in John Skelton who showed signs in December that he can be a solid starter. Considering the issues the 49ers have (really high expectations, a taxing schedule, trouble-makers in the locker room), it shouldn't surprise anyone if the Cardinals steal the NFC West this year.
Projection: 9-7 (1st in NFC West)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings
More 2012 NFL Season Previews