The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Top5Thurs: Top 5 Free Agent Fits For the Cardinals

Let's start by telling you something you already know: The NFL offseason is going to get even crazier.

We've already had three starting QB's traded, one franchise QB demand a trade, another franchise QB list his desired trade locations but deny he has demanded a trade and JJ Watt signing with the Cardinals.

That was the appetizer tray for the feast of football news we are all about to gorge ourselves on.

With just days left before free agency formally begins, I thought I'd list my best free agent targets for the Arizona Cardinals.

Most Cardinals fans are still drunk on power after JJ Watt shocked the football world and arrived in the desert. Anyone can connect the dots to the Cardinals and the remaining biggest free agents but I don't think the Cardinals are likely to top the JJ Watt acquisition. They have needs all over the field and an unofficial mandate to make the playoffs or else.

I believe the Cardinals offseason philosophy should be:
1) Build. the. lines.

2) Quantity and quality over splash/star signings

Without further ado, here is my list for the Cardinals:
Top 5 Thursday: Top 5 Free Agent Fits for the Cardinals

5. Quinton Dunbar, CB

  • 6'2, 28 years old and while he missed 10 games due to injury last season for the Seahawks he was outstanding in 2019 for the Washington Football Team. This isn't a signing that solves the Cardinals secondary problem but they are going to need to sign at least 3 veteran CB's and Dunbar gives them a solid veteran option with considerable upside to outperform a modest contract.

4. Keelan Cole, WR

  • Cole is my top target at WR for the Cardinals. He's 27, 6'1 and has averaged over 500 yards per season in a disastrous Jacksonville offense. Last year alone, with the worst QB situation in the league, Cole put up over 600 yards and 5 TD's. With lots of needs elsewhere and the Cardinals paying DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals should try and sign 2 C+ WR's rather than big ticket. Cole would make this team better immediately and not break the bank.

3. David Andrews, C

  • Mason Cole played his way out of being Butt Sweat Buddies with Kyler Murray for the next decade. His egregious penalties late in the year and physical limitations have the Cardinals on the hunt for a new C. Enter David Andrews. At 28, he has five years of starting experience with the Patriots. What better way to import some real help for Kyler up front than someone who snapped to Tom Brady for four of his five seasons? Andrews missed all of 2019 with a blood clot issue but returned last year to start 12 games for the Patriots. Signing Andrews not only upgrades the center position but also improves the guard play around him and should cost several millions of dollars per year less than Corey Linsley.

2. Malcolm Butler, CB

  • Recently dumped by the Titans, Butler could find a soft landing spot in Phoenix. A year older than Patrick Peterson but without the PED suspension or on field slippage, Butler could offer the Cardinals a stop gap cornerback during a critically important 2021 season. His coverage grade according to PFF last season was 72.7, Patrick Peterson's was 54.1.

1. Marlon Mack, RB

  • Mack should come relatively cheap with a flooded RB market and a Week 1 injury that ended his season in 2020. At 24, Mack would be an ideal big play back to pair with Chase Edmonds. In 2019, he rushed for over 1,000 yards as a platoon back with the Colts. The Cardinals have already parted ways with the 4th and 6th round draft picks for this year's draft and instead of using one of their few currently remaining picks on a RB, they solve their backfield problems with a considerable upside play in Marlon Mack.

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