Cardinals aren’t panicking about all the free agency defections

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If you’re the General Manager of a team that just lost five defensive starters in free agency, it would probably be bad for morale to run down the halls screaming “We’re all gonna die!”

So if you’re Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim, you look for the half-full glass and proceed, after losing defensive tackle Calais Campbell, safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger, cornerback Marcus Cooper, and linebacker Kevin Minter.

“You can see we’ve obviously done a good job of identifying players,” Keim said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “When guys like Marcus Cooper get five-plus million dollars [from the Bears] or D.J. Swearinger are getting big contracts, these are guys we took off the street that nobody else wanted. Our personnel department does a fantastic job and our coaches do a good job of developing these guys and getting them ready.”

Well, I guess if that’s your perspective, he has a point. They acquired Cooper for a seventh-round pick and got a good year out of him. Swearinger had bounced around. Jefferson was an undrafted rookie who grew into a starter. They drafted Campbell and Minter.

And if you really want to be Mr. Silver Lining, they ought to be on the right side of the margin when it comes time for compensatory picks next year.

But there’s still the matter of replacing the production, and signing old guys like Karlos Dansby and Antoine Bethea also comes with some risks as well, and the Cardinals still need to draft some difference-makers to replace the talent other people paid for.

22 responses to “Cardinals aren’t panicking about all the free agency defections

  1. Would be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned about all of those losses. Keim made a name for himself by evaluating young talent and making smart free agent pick ups. Hope that he keeps on doing it. Bethea worries me. Really wish they kept Swearinger… I have faith tho…

  2. Back to the days when we didn’t have Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, or Jake Plummer as our FRANCHISE QB 😦

    JAKE PLUMMER… That’s right JAKE “the snake” PLUMMER (FRANCHISE QB). Can I get another interception in isle JAKE PLUMMER.

    A conversation with JAKE PLUMMER at comic con.

    Cardinal Fan: Hey! Aren’t you JAKE PLUMMER..?

    Jake: Yes

    Cardinals Fan: you were really good at Arizona State.

    Jake: Thanks. Joe Germaine is Wack.

  3. We saw last year what happens when the Cards don’t get every break in their favor. When the refs don’t blatantly favor them with every call throughout the season. They were overrated the prior couple years and came back down to reality last year. Their window has closed. They’ll be battling S.F. and L.A. for the worst record in the division next year. They still have talent on the roster, but with a “leader” like Arians, they have no chance.

  4. zoneread510 says:
    Mar 24, 2017 3:49 PM
    Back to the days when we didn’t have Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, or Jake Plummer as our FRANCHISE QB 😦

    JAKE PLUMMER… That’s right JAKE “the snake” PLUMMER (FRANCHISE QB). Can I get another interception in isle JAKE PLUMMER.

    A conversation with JAKE PLUMMER at comic con.

    Cardinal Fan: Hey! Aren’t you JAKE PLUMMER..?

    Jake: Yes

    Cardinals Fan: you were really good at Arizona State.

    Jake: Thanks. Joe Germaine is Wack.
    _____________

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

  5. The Curse of Trading for Chandler Jones. A 2nd rder gone and now 14 mil per. Yikes!

    And the sad part is, if they don’t jump on a deal for JimmyG, they have no QB past 2017.

    They’ll be in rebuilding mode.

    Mathieu, Jones, FItzgerald and Palmer’s contracts are awful.

    Cap hell is real, folks.

  6. Yeah…..and I thought Seattle was going to keep finding 5th round Shermans and free agent Baldwins. Luckily, they kept their core players but it hasn’t been easy peezy just hitting gold on these late rounders since to fill in the gaps. I actually hope Arizona reloads because having a division rival is nice to look forward to and hate on.

  7. Keim became GM and hired BA, got Palmer for peanuts, and did the most massive roster remodel I’ve ever witnessed, immediately going from 5 wins to 10, 11, 13 and a Championship game and a GM of the Year award. Cards fans all knew after that roster overhaul those four year contracts and new players would makemfor a tough cap situation in 2017.

    Keim planned for the loss of Campbell by drafting athletic freak of nature Gunter 2 yrs ago and 1st rounder Nkemdiche last year. They will have to step up. Jefferson is a loss but Steve got him for his best year at a minimum tender. Swearinger wasn’t even pursued even though Cards still have $20+ million cap, and rumors are he was a problem in the locker room. There’s a reason he’s never settled in one place. Regardless, Honey Badger and last year FA Ty Branch return healthy, and last year’s draft pick Harlan Miller looked great last year. Again, Steve planned ahead.

    Minter and Cooper, ILB and CB2, are the two weaknesses Cards fans want upgraded. For the 2017 season, a season old guys Palmer and Fitz likely make a last run, Keim band-aided with ILB Dansby and S Bethea, who while old each led their old teams in tackles last year. We just need one more year of tread out of them, and their vet presence will be good for the rookies and young guys we already have and will get in this draft. CB2 is our only real question mark for this year on defense now, and we have $20+ million cap and a draft loaded with CBs to address it, or ride with healthy Bethel who was supposed to be CB2 last year, or see if last year’s draft pick B Williams is ready.

    Plus, Steve turned our losses into likely comp picks in each of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th rounds in 2018. Plus we will have about $100 million in cap. Little dead money. Another roster overhaul after one last hurrah for Palmer/Fitz.

    Keim and the Cards are doing just fine.

  8. Has he been perfect in drafting players? No. But this is the same group that drafted David Johnson in the bottom of Round 3. To jackedupboonie’s point, that doesn’t happen consistently, but all you need is a few diamonds in the rough.

    The rivalry with Seattle is fun. Those two teams beat the hell out of each other.

    I’ll cheers jackedup and continue to enjoy the rivalry.

  9. “tylawspick6 says:
    Mar 24, 2017 4:15 PM
    The Curse of Trading for Chandler Jones. A 2nd rder gone and now 14 mil per. Yikes!

    And the sad part is, if they don’t jump on a deal for JimmyG, they have no QB past 2017.

    They’ll be in rebuilding mode.

    Mathieu, Jones, FItzgerald and Palmer’s contracts are awful.

    Cap hell is real, folks.”

    We still have over $20 million to spend, a draft, and few holes on the 2017 roster. RG and CB2 are about it. We probably draft a QBOF this draft early. And in 2018 the Palmer and Fitz cap hits go bye bye, and we’re sitting on $100 million to spend, plus a first, second, 2 thirds, 2 fourths, 2 fifths, 2 sixths and a seventh. Young DLine, OLB bookends in Jones and Golden that led the NFL in sacks, and backfield including Peterson and Mathiu all locked up. 2 young deep threat WRs and one of if not the best RB in the league, and young tackles locked up. Plenty of cap to go after a vet if the draft doesn’t produce our QBOF. Cards are set up nicely.

  10. I have an extreme reaction to this!!!

    Meh.

    People don’t realize how deep that defense really is. While Campbell is special, they had as many as 8 potential starters on the DL last season. Minter was great at stopping the run, but Dansby is more mobile – I’d say a wash for a year, at least. Jefferson, Cooper, and Swearinger hurt, but Branch is healthy and we still have PP and Mathieu. We definitely need to draft an ILB, CB, and maybe S, but the situation isn’t dire at all.

    Our real potential issue is at WR. While he’s got more guts and heart than 5 other random NFL players combined, Fitz is barely a #1 at this point and on the point of retirement, and we’ve got no replacement on the roster. John Brown is constantly hurt, Jaron Brown will make a big play but is inconsistent as heck, and JJ Nelson is fast but small. They desperately need a solid, big play WR to supplement this year and as a #1 replacement for Fitz down the line.

  11. Back to the days when we didn’t have Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, or Jake Plummer as our FRANCHISE QB 😦

    JAKE PLUMMER… That’s right JAKE “the snake” PLUMMER (FRANCHISE QB). Can I get another interception in isle JAKE PLUMMER.

    A conversation with JAKE PLUMMER at comic con.

    Cardinal Fan: Hey! Aren’t you JAKE PLUMMER..?

    Jake: Yes

    Cardinals Fan: you were really good at Arizona State.

    Jake: Thanks. Joe Germaine is Wack.
    ___________________________________
    Future presidential assassain. Kenneth, what’s the frequency?

  12. Last year our talent under played their abilities… bad coaching.

    This year our talent will probably be reduced.

    If you combine low talent and bad coaching… 2017/18 could be a horrible year for us Cardinal fans.

    I hope I get surprised.🙀

  13. Keim did not draft Campbell. This is a fading, 6-10 team that will miss the playoffs again. Should have started from scratch this offseason instead of deluding themselves they can run with the Seahawks. It won’t end well.

  14. Love to read all the negative commentary… It will provide a wonderful contrast to the job that Keim, BA, and their staff will achieve with this “team” in this coming year.

    Keim & BA did not fall off the turnip truck… they were pushed off!!! To think that any yahoo commentator here would know more then what these experts have demonstrated is a joke. (Sad)

    I’m enjoying watching the FA frenzy, wild speculations, and over paid talent taking place… But more importantly, it’s overtly enjoyable witnessing the patience and strategic maneuvering demonstrated by the some of the best executives and coaches in the business.

    Thank you Bidwell for making this all possible!

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