The early returns for what the Arizona Cardinals have done in free agency, at least on a local level, have been pretty positive.
Their two biggest moves, signing Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer and Panthers receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., appear to have filled two of the team’s biggest holes.
Left tackle? Check.
Fast wide receiver? Check.
But while the Cardinals were filling needs with seemingly capable players, many other teams around the NFL were adding Pro Bowl talents to their rosters.
So, how have the Cardinals really done?
“I give it a double,” ESPN NFL insider John Clayton told Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM of the Veldheer signing. “It’s not a home run; it’s not Joe Thomas, it’s not the best left tackle. But it’s a solid left tackle that can get in there and play for many, many years.
“He’s a good, solid player.”
Clayton said Branden Albert, who ended up in Miami, and Eugene Monroe, who stayed in Baltimore, may have been better options, but the Cardinals did well given the fact that they weren’t likely to get them anyway.
So, enter Veldheer, who was a fixture along the Raiders’ offensive line at left tackle.
“It’s a guy that can come in, be there for four or five years and then you make an evaluation on that,” he said. “He’s a good player, good guy, so I give it a solid double.”
Given that some would say the left tackle position has more closely resembled a groundout in which the runner trips over first base, a solid double isn’t too bad.
But then there’s Ginn, the former first-round pick who is expected to bring an element of speed to the Cardinals offense.
“I like the fact that as a third receiver he’s a guy that has some speed,” Clayton said. “He’s definitely got the ability to return.
“I don’t know if he’s that much better than Andre Roberts, but I think he’s different and he has some explosion to him.”
Ginn said Thursday he probably runs a 40-yard dash in around 4.38 seconds, and he averaged a career-best 15.4 yards per reception last season. His skill set would appear to be a good fit with the team’s personnel.
“They’ve got Floyd, they’ve got Larry Fitzgerald, so I think it helps,” Clayton said. “Because it helps on special teams and it definitely gives another weapon on offense.”