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Arizona Cardinals Offseason Team Needs – TSJ Sports

Arizona Cardinals Offseason Team Needs NFL Kevin Piatt via flickr

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Filling Up the Arizona Cardinals Cracks

The Arizona Cardinals struggled to get up to .500 in 2016. At times, the offense was lethargic, other times is was a powerhouse. The Offensive line struggled to pass protect for Carson Palmer, allowing 14 more sacks this season than in 2015. Palmer had his issues delivering the ball this past season (26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions). The Cardinals were losers of many close games and are victim of a tie in 2016. However, with the right offseason moves, they can be back on top of their division next season.

Guard

The Cardinals struggled to get consistent guard play in 2016. Jonathan Cooper’s bright future is in jeopardy due to excessive injury. Evan Mathis has yet to resign with the team also. No matter the case he is 36 and the team will need to get younger. Ted Larsen is no longer on the roster, making the position even thinner for the Cards. Forrest Lamp out of Western Kentucky could be just the fix.

However, Dan Feeney may be the first round answer the Offensive line needs. He allowed just one sack in his 36 starts. Dan was a First Team All American. At Indiana, Feeney blocked for NFL dynamos Jordan Howard and Tevin Coleman. The Cardinals should also look to free agency for the answer. Options such as Kevin Zeitler from the Bengals and Larry Warford from the Lions are available. Zeitler is just 27 and considered to be the top free agent Guard available.

Quarterback

The Offensive line struggled to keep Quarterback Carson Palmer above ground in 2016, allowing 41 sacks. At age 37, protection matters more than ever for Palmer. He recently agreed to another season. Arizona will need to find a Quarterback to develop behind him if they want to have continued success. Backup Drew Stanton is just that, a consistent backup at best. His 8-5 record has undoubtedly overshadowed his 14-19 touchdown to interception ratio.

Free Agency may give the Cardinals an opportunity to pursue the likes of Tyrod Taylor. Taylor and David Johnson could work dangerously well together. Deshaun Watson could also be a good fit for the Cardinals. Watson would likely be difficult to obtain. The Cardinals would either need to tread up or pray for him to fall. Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina would also be a great late first round, early second round choice. Trubisky has the arm strength and athleticism, but is very intelligent too. He threw just 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions last season. Sitting behind Palmer could be perfect for his development.

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Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson were the leading receivers for the Arizona Cardinals. Outside those two, no other receiver caught more than 40 passes. Michael Floyd was released after a Driving Under the Influence charge in December. Injuries to John Brown, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson were problematic. Arizona needs another big body receiver after losing out with Floyd. The Cardinals could look to bring in a big ticket free agent such as Terrelle Pryor. The former Quarterback has shown his big play ability and diversity in Cleveland.

Alshon Jefferey is another young talented receiver that can be a number one. Jefferey has the size, talent and athleticism to make big plays mimicking Larry Fitzgerald. However, the Cardinals should also look to the draft for a receiver like Corey Davis out of Western Michigan. Davis 6’3″ 205 lbs and he posted 97 receptions for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. With a 4.52 40-yard dash, Davis could be the answer to filling Fitzgerald’s cleats in the near future.