The Cardinals are busy surveying the free agent landscape, hoping to add more key pieces to a core which has won 21 games over the past two seasons. Free agency begins on March 10, and we'll break down the team's needs at each position leading up to the signing period.
Free agent primer: Wide receiver
Cap numbers of players under contract for 2015:Larry Fitzgerald ($10.85 million); Michael Floyd ($3.17 million); John Brown ($657,725); Jaron Brown ($588,000); Brittan Golden ($510,000); Travis Harvey ($510,000); Ryan Spadola ($435,000)
Notable wide receivers who are scheduled to be free agents
Analysis: The big offseason priority at wide receiver was a restructure of Fitzgerald's contract, and now that he's in the fold for the next two seasons, the Cardinals are well stocked at the position. Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown are expected to return as the top three receivers, with Jaron Brown back as the likely fourth or fifth option. Ted Ginn was released a week ago because his salary cap number was too high for a player who ended the season nearly exclusively as a return man. His departure leaves a void in that area, but Ginn finished the season with only 14 catches for 190 yards, so his absence won't be felt at wide receiver. Brittan Golden has bounced between the active roster and the practice squad the past couple years, and he will compete for a roster spot in the offseason, while Travis Harvey and Ryan Spadola were added after the season.
If the Cardinals add a wide receiver in free agency, it's not expected to be one of the big names – Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Torrey Smith – on the list. Instead, it could be a player to supplement the current group, or one with kick and punt return abilities to fill in for Ginn. The Cardinals have several players with experience in the area – Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown – but may not want to risk injury to those key guys by using them on returns.
Notable past free agent WR signings by the Cardinals: Ted Ginn (2014); Sean Morey (2007)