The Cardinals got their first free agent of 2012 Wednesday.
No, it’s not that one – not yet anyway. Peyton Manning is still in decision mode, but the Cards did find a player who could block for him when they signed veteran guard/tackle Adam Snyder to a five-year contract.
Snyder spent his first seven NFL seasons in San Francisco, playing 107 total games. Last season he ended up starting 13 of 16 games at guard. His versatility, however, is attractive to the Cards because he can play anywhere on the line.
Snyder said the coaches talked to him mostly about playing guard because that’s where he played last season. His role, however, is undefined and will likely be impacted by the rest of free agency and the draft. Snyder was one of three offensive linemen to visit Wednesday. Titans guard Jake Scott and Bills tackle Demetrius Bell also toured the facility and talked to coaches.
“Whatever I can do to help the team win, whether that’s left tackle, right guard, if I have to jump around, I’ll do that,” Snyder said.
The Cards are still expected to try and bring Brown back. Keith is in a more grey area.
Snyder entered the Niners’ starting lineup at right guard last season, replacing Chilo Rachal in Week Four. Snyder reportedly played well, but San Francisco – which also saw Rachal become a free agent – is apparently looking to a pair of 2011 rookies, Mike Person and Daniel Kilgore, to compete for playing time at guard. Snyder said he loved it in San Francisco but “at this point in my career, I was ready for something else.”
Snyder said he didn’t hear from the Cardinals until Tuesday afternoon, but he already had ties to the area. His wife Erika, whom he met when she was playing volleyball and him football at the University of Oregon, grew up in Ahwatukee, a part of Phoenix. She attended Mountain Pointe High School, just three miles away from the Cards’ facility, and her father is one-time Cardinals’ executive Erik Widmark.
“This is a team I have always kept an eye on, being in the same division, and for this to work out the way it did, it’s awesome and my family couldn’t be happier,” Snyder said.