Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

What's left for Arizona in free agency

The Arizona Cardinals have already added multiple veterans in free agency, so will the franchise's next move be to get younger through the draft or add experienced depth options?

Within the first 48 hours of free agency, the Arizona Cardinals added three players --safety Antoine Bethea, linebacker Karlos Dansby and kicker Phil Dawson-- with a combined 42 seasons of NFL experience.

All three players bring a veteran presence to the Cardinals' locker room, and the franchise's decision to sign all three suggests the team believes it has a serious chance at making a Super Bowl push in the immediate future.

Instead of making moves to get younger or solidify the future of the franchise, the Cardinals brought in players in the "win now" stage of their careers with goals of bringing an elusive title to an Arizona organization so desperately seeking one.

Does Arizona's roster have what it takes at the moment to help the team contend for a Super Bowl in 2017? Or will the Cardinals need to add more players in free agency or through the NFL Draft to make a stronger push? 

Because head coach Bruce Arians is often reluctant and sometimes even unwilling to make rookies an integral part of his lineups, the Cardinals may look to address their remaining holes with a handful of low-profile free agent moves that could shore up depth issues and give the team a more complete feel.

As the NFL begins the second full week of free agency, Arizona still needs to add a cornerback, a wide receiver, an offensive lineman, a defensive lineman and perhaps a reserve linebacker if the team wants to enter the draft in a situation where it can build for the future instead of attempt to select a player who can help in an immediate way.

And of course, when the Cardinals do enter the draft, the team has already expressed interest in the possibility of using an early round selection on a quarterback it can mold to be the future of the franchise.

So is Arizona done looking for free agents? That's highly unlikely, especially given Arians' preference of relying on veteran players. The question remains, who's left, and who's still a fit for the Cardinals?

At wide receiver and cornerback, Arians may be more willing to build through the draft than he would be with most position groups, because wide receivers have an easier assimilation process to the NFL and because this year's draft is so deep in the defensive backfield. Nevertheless, the Cardinals may look at Anquan Boldin, Kamar Aiken or Brian Quick, none of whom would be a No. 1 option or likely sign anything more than a two-year deal, but all of whom could help Arizona in the short-term.

Along the offensive line, Arizona could use a veteran guard, but the Cardinals failed to make a move for a market that was flush with guards at the beginning of free agency. Perhaps the team makes a run at former Saints' lineman Tim Lelito, but he spent Wednesday visiting with the Detroit Lions. Lelito might be the best available guard still on the market, but other names like Mike Harris who last played for Minnesota could also emerge. 

The most likely candidate for the Cardinals to sign on the defensive line is Frostee Rucker, who has spent the past few seasons in Arizona and would be welcomed as a veteran presence willing to play a rotational role on the team's line. If Arizona can secure a contract with Rucker soon, it should work to do so because as the market thins out, other options aren't readily available. 

The Cardinals haven't demonstrated a willingness to sign high-profile free agents this offseason other than Chandler Jones, but if the team is concerned about how Robert Nkemdiche holds up next season, it's possible but unlikely Arizona could make a late run at New York Giants' free agent Johnathan Hankins. 

Additionally, Arizona may plan on adding an inside linebacker with its first or second round pick in the draft, but if the Cardinals want to use those picks on other position groups, re-signing veteran Sio Moore could be a move that would give the team much needed depth behind Dansby. While Moore likely wants an opportunity to start somewhere, he fit in well in Arizona's defense last season and would be the third inside linebacker on the roster. 

At this point in free agency, Arizona isn't going to make any stunning decisions. The Cardinals know they need a few more depth pieces, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to see the franchise hosting visits with veterans looking for new homes and the chance to earn playing time under a coach who clearly values leadership and experience. 


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