Steve Keim: Cardinals won’t be “drastically limited” in free agency after J.J. Watt signing

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals
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Michael Bidwill said signing J.J. Watt already has “raised the energy” around the team, and the Cardinals owner called the addition of the defensive end a “culture changer.” It remains to be seen whether Watt’s presence will entice more free agents to join the Cardinals.

But General Manager Steve Keim said Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the Cardinals to be finished in free agency.

“I don’t think we’re drastically limited,” Keim said after Watt signed a two-year deal worth up to $31 million.

The Cardinals still have $9.422 million under the projected cap, according to

“That’s why we structured the contract the way we did and the way we have done a number of other things financially,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the team website. “That’s some of the benefits you have . . . about having a rookie quarterback on his first contract. We have a window in time where we can do some different things and be flexible.

“At the same time, we have to be smart with it and we have to look at the future moving forward and look at the next three years. I always take a different view than a lot of people do.”

The Cardinals have 28 free agents, including cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebacker Haason Reddick and running back Kenyan Drake. Some will return; some won’t.

“Just doing the cost of business and the way things work, some of those players will be able to return,” Keim added. “It depends on what the market is going to present.”

6 responses to “Steve Keim: Cardinals won’t be “drastically limited” in free agency after J.J. Watt signing

  1. Yes it will, says the 15 million you could have spent in areas you needed to improve much more

  2. Peterson won’t be happy unless he’s over-paid, and won’t likely be back. Drake is good as gone and replaced by Edmunds and a draft pick. Reddick may have been a one year wonder, though he was finally played in his proper position. Maybe he comes back.

  3. Signing him isn’t going to hurt them in free agency……..he is a huge pickup and will considered as part of the free agency that is about to start.

  4. Um, it costs 7 mil or to sign rookies. Without further expensive cuts or Fitz retiring, they’re a top heavy, weak roster.

    Clearly, the knee jerk signing of Watt is another flash move to get people excited during a pandemic and sell more jerseys. All the southern markets do this.

    It’s not a good model, save for Mebron Brady cupcaking over to TB for a year.

  5. Cardinals will restructure/extend their LT Humphries, cut the CB who hasn’t played a snap for them in 2 years to save $9 million, do a few other small restructures, and still have well over $20 million more including their expected rookie pool of $5.2 million. They need a C upgrade, G upgrade, WR2/3, and a few CB’s between the rest of FA and the draft.

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