Will the Cards add an offensive free agent?

Despite the release of RB Edgerrin James, the Arizona Cardinals are still fairly limited on cap space at the moment. However, that could change if the Cardinals are able to work out a long-term deal with LB Karlos Dansby. Furthermore, if WR Anquan Boldin is shipped out of the desert, new faces will be needed to complete the roster. Brad Wilbricht examines the possibilities on offense.

Although the free-agent market has been widely picked over, there are still capable players seeking employment. As of now, the Cardinals' roster is fairly stable but could add some sprucing up. Arizona recently signed TE Dominique Byrd to compete with a host of other tight ends. Additionally, the Cardinals signed RB Jason Wright and selected first-round draft choice Chris Wells to help fill the voids left by running backs Edgerrin James and J.J. Arrington.

Coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm value experience along the offensive line and Arizona could still be searching for another veteran in the trenches. Two possibilities currently on the market are OG Kynan Forney and OT Terrence Metcalf. Both players have proved to be dependable performers in the NFL and could even compete for a starting position. With a relatively young group of offensive lineman, their presence would do more than just add depth.

Lyle Sendlein

Another position of interest on the offensive line is at center. Lyle Sendlein did an admirable job stepping in for Al Johnson after he went down with injury. However, questions remain whether Sendlein can hold up over the long haul. Donovan Raiola is currently slated as the backup and this may spark the Cardinals' front office to target another option at center. Melvin Fowler, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, would make sense given his experience and ability.

With Arizona having three quarterbacks already on the roster, it's highly unlikely another signal caller will be brought onboard. One additional area on offense that might need attention is at wide receiver. While there is an abundance of talent on the perimeter, the possibility that WR Anquan Boldin is traded still remains. Assuming, the Cardinals don't receive another receiver in return, it could force GM Rod Graves to bring in fresh blood.

Of the remaining available wide receivers, very few look capable of making an impact. However, Arizona could make a splash by acquiring the likes of Plaxico Burress or Marvin Harrison. Burress has legal issues to be resolved but has a history with Whisenhunt during their time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison would be a logical fit on offense particularly if Boldin leaves. Harrison is fearless over middle and could help bring along second-year WR Early Doucet.

Unlike last year, there is little room for free-agent additions heading into the 2009 campaign. The Cardinals currently have 84 players on the roster and need to gradually trim that number down to 80 when training camp starts. By late August, only 75 players are allowed and only 53 can be present when September begins.

Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
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