4:12pm: A source tells Somers (Twitter link) that Keisel turned down the Cardinals’ invitation to visit Arizona – and possibly sign with the team – because he didn’t want to leave his family.
3:02pm: In spite of Keisel’s reported visit to Arizona, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears that the Cardinals are “very unlikely” to sign the veteran lineman (Twitter link).
12:41pm: Keisel is flying to Arizona today to take a physical, according to Somers (via Twitter). As expected, it looks like the former Steeler is high on the Cardinals’ list of targets.
8:47am: In the wake of Darnell Dockett‘s season-ending ACL injury, the Cardinals are expected to add a defender to help provide depth on the line, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, who figures a move will happen soon (Twitter link). As Somers notes in a separate tweet, Frostee Rucker is expected to slide into Dockett’s role and should ensure there isn’t a huge drop-off among the starters, but depth could be an issue for the club.
Several Arizona reporters, including Somers (via Twitter), Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (via Twitter), and Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, have pointed to veteran free agent Brett Keisel as a logical fit for the Cardinals. Keisel, a longtime Steeler, has a history with head coach Bruce Arians and defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who both previously worked in Pittsburgh.
As our list of current veteran free agents shows, the Cardinals’ options for defensive linemen are limited. Former fourth-rounder Vaughn Martin and ex-Packers Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett are among the recognizable names in the bunch, but Keisel seems to be the best fit given Arizona’s needs. It’s not clear, however, what his salary demands are.
If Keisel’s asking price is too high for the Cardinals, the team could simply turn to one of its younger, cheaper, in-house options. However, considering the club is in win-now mode heading into the 2014 season, a veteran signing appears likely.
As for Dockett, since he’s a veteran player, he can be placed on injured reserve immediately without having to pass through waivers, so I’d expect the Cardinals to make that move in the near future.