Arizona With a Strong Showing in Free Agency

By Cameron Moon

The Cardinals may not have made free agency waves in the mold of the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, but they are definitely headed in the right direction. The biggest move was the addition of Kevin Kolb, a promising yet unproven quarterback acquired via trade from the Eagles. He will step in immediately and add some much needed stability and skill at the Cardinals weakest spot. While the move to get Kolb was the headline catching move of the week, the Cards also made some other strong moves.

The secondary took a hit with the departure of the team’s most physical corner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the Kolb trade, but Arizona bounced back in the signing of equally physical Richard Marshall on a one year contract, who most recently played in Carolina. In addition, the team agreed to terms with their first round pick, Patrick Peterson from LSU. Peterson, a rangy corner in a safety’s body will also be impactful returning kicks come September. The addition of Marshall and signing of Peterson, as well as the current veteran safety combination of Kerry Rhodes, and the playmaking Adrian Wilson gives the team a strong and deep defensive backfield, and they will be the strength of the defense.

The Cardinals also upgraded what is debatably their weakest position, inside linebacker, with the signing of former Philadelphia Eagle Stewart Bradley. Bradley, who missed the entire 2009 season with a torn ACL, had his highs and lows in his first season returning from the injury, but Bradley was still able to bang out 60 tackles, as well as one interception and sack apiece. Bradley is a smart veteran player that will provide leadership to a unit that was inconsistent and underperformed last season. Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are still in the mix, but each is turning 34 this season, and their age is starting to show, based on their 2010 performance: 97 tackles, 10 sacks between them.

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