Steve Keim was busy in free agency this offseason, but stayed away from the top of the market.
Instead, the Cardinals general manager inked several players to mid-level deals with the belief they will provide surplus value. Football Outsiders has identified a pair of new Cardinals who it believes will outperform their free agent contracts – which isn’t an easy thing to do in a time of a rapidly expanding salary cap.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is 36 years old, which kept his market suppressed, but he still finished last season with seven sacks and 15 quarterback hits. The Cardinals signed him to a one-year, $7 million deal, which paled in comparison to the lucrative contracts signed by Trey Flowers, Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith.
Despite that, Football Outsiders’ methodology projects that Flowers will be the only free agent edge rusher that outperforms Suggs this season. By adding in his reasonable contract, the analytics site believes Suggs will give the Cardinals a surplus approximate value of 3.9 this season, which is the third-best among free agents on the list. (Approximate value is the methodology used by Pro Football Reference to assign seasonal worth to each individual player.)
Darius Philon is another free agent addition that Football Outsiders expects to be worth more than his deal. The 25-year-old defensive tackle signed a two-year, $10 million contract and is projected to give the Cardinals a surplus approximate value of 2.4 in 2019.
Images from the final full week of 2019 Phase Two work, as veterans and rookies practice together for the first time