Although Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has shown a willingess to bring in veterans late in the summer, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com doesn’t expect to Arizona to agree to deals with either Leon Hall or Dwight Freeney. Hall, for his part, took a visit with the Cards earlier this spring, but it looks like the club is looking for a more “durable” option opposite Patrick Peterson. The 30-year-old Hall is still an excellent slot corner, but he’s neither resistant to injury or particularly capable of playing on the outside at this point in his career.
Freeney, of course, spent the final 11 games of the 2015 season with Arizona, posting eight sacks over that span. But as Weinfuss notes, the Cardinals have added Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche to an edge-rushing rotation that also includes Alex Okafor, Kareem Martin, and Shaq Riddick, so the need for a veteran like Freeney has been reduced. Last week, I ranked Freeney as the fourth-best defensive free agent left on the board.
Here’s more on the Cardinals plus a few more notes from around the league…
- After not playing a single snap as a rookie, 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries is projected to start the season as the Cardinals‘ right tackle, as Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic details, noting that the club’s offensive line will have a different combination than in did last season. While Jared Veldheer and Mike Iupati will continue to man the left side, veteran Evan Mathis will take over at right guard, while either A.Q. Shipley or rookie Evan Boehm will play center.
- Marshawn Lynch has not officially filed for retirement (despite Seattle placing him on the reserved/retired list), and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman isn’t completely convinced that the mercurial running back won’t play another down. “I don’t put anything past him,” Sherman told Michael Robinson of NFL Media. “He’s about as predictable as a pair of dice. So I don’t try to call his plays.”
- The Saints are often maligned for their salary cap management, but Mike Triplett of ESPN.com takes a slightly different tack, arguing that New Orleans would be praised for its financial tactics had they spent their cash more wisely. As Triplett opines, the NFL salary cap continues to increase every year, and despite the Saints perpetually being in “salary cap hell,” the club always finds a way to clear space.
- Though the Colts do need to find a suitable backup behind starting running back Frank Gore, Mike Wells of ESPN.com doesn’t think Arian Foster is the answer, given that the free agent back can’t seem to stay healthy. Darren Sproles, on the other hand, could be a fit, says Wells, but it doesn’t sound like the Eagles are in any rush to give him up.