The Cardinals need a strong offseason to transform from a five-win team to a playoff contender, and the early returns are good.
General Manager Steve Keim is earning praise from both traditional analysts and the analytics community for his first four moves: trading for DeAndre Hopkins and agreeing to terms with free agent defenders Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard and De'Vondre Campbell.
Pro Football Focus is tracking the value gained and lost by all 32 teams using its Wins Above Replacement metric, and has the Cardinals atop their Improvement Index as the first wave of free agency slows.
According to PFF, the Cardinals have added 0.34 wins to their projected total, an eight percent improvement that tops the Colts (7.7 percent) and Giants (7.2 percent) for the lead.
It's easy to see why there is belief the Cardinals have substantially upgraded this offseason.
Hopkins is a game-changer at outside receiver, while Phillips (a defensive tackle), Kennard (edge rusher) and Campbell (inside linebacker) fill glaring holes in the Cardinals' front seven.