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Free Agency Not Over, But Cardinals Now Focus On Draft

With number of veterans still on market, future signings remain possible

Wide receiver A.J. Green talks to the media via Zoom after signing his contract in March of 2021.
Wide receiver A.J. Green talks to the media via Zoom after signing his contract in March of 2021.

The Cardinals have brought in a new anchor defensive lineman, a new center, a new cornerback, a No. 2 wide receiver and a kicker, since the new league year began last month.

They also have (according to about $15 million in salary cap space, thanks to some well-structured deals and other financial adjustments.

Holes on the roster remain. But with the draft less than a month away, the Cardinals are moving into the next phase of team-building, including their two weeks or so of draft meetings.

"There are a number of players are still out there (in free agency) and we will continue to monitor the market," Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. "We have the draft coming up now, and that will be a primary focus. That's where most of the teams are at this point with draft meetings starting.

"After the draft, once teams assess their needs, they will probably go back to that market again."

At this point, the Cards could still use at least one more veteran cornerback, a tight end, maybe a veteran running back, among other spots.

But Keim has been busy. On defense, additions have included defensive end J.J. Watt , cornerback Malcolm Butler, and safety Shawn Williams. On offense, they've added wide receiver A.J. Green, center Rodney Hudson, guard Brian Winters, kicker Matt Prater, and backup quarterback Colt McCoy.

The moves have been aggressive. But Keim said they are natural choices for a team that just missed the playoffs last season.

"It goes back to self-evaluation and identifying where you need to improve," Keim said. "I know people have made comments that we're going for it, or pushing our chips all in. I don't really see it that way. I see it as a team that won five games, and then won eight games, and that wasn't good enough. We had to self-evaluate and see where we needed to improve.

"To me you can either sit back and watch it happen or you can be aggressive and take the bull by the horns. We had the opportunity, particularly with (quarterback) Kyler (Murray) on his rookie contract, to make some moves and be aggressive. I'm excited about the players we have added, and also the people we've added."

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