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Arizona had a difficult season in 2016 and might have seen their playoff window close. Carson Palmer looked like he was back in Cincinnati, Michael Floyd was cut, Larry Fitzgerald is even slower, and the defense was extremely suspect. Now the team has less than the average amount of available cap space at $35 million and a strong sense of urgency to make a deep playoff run.

Primary Needs: WR, DE, OG

Secondary Needs: OLB, QB

Free Agency Strategy: The Cardinals have a number of their edge defenders in their front 7 heading into free agency. Resigning at least one of those players should be a priority. There is some depth at both offensive guard and defensive end in free agency and the Cardinals could find a veteran at each of those positions who could start without using up too much cap space. Chandler Jones had a good year and merits a new contract, although agreeing to terms with him might be difficult. Replacing him with Melvin Ingram or Nick Perry might be cheaper.

Draft Strategy: Rumors abound that the Cardinals are interested in this year’s quarterbacks. At this point it is likely nothing more than due diligence, although the quickest way to rebuild is to have continuity at quarterback and spending a year under Carson Palmer would do well for any of this year’s quarterbacks, all of whom need a year to develop more. The Cardinals will be in a good position in the middle of the first round to select a receiver should they go that route. If the team takes a value based approach then they might choose to fill their outside linebacker position first.

 

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