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.