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Comings and goings: A breakdown of Arizona Cardinals free agency

We all knew free agency would lead to some changes for the Arizona Cardinals, but before the period kicked off on March 9 we really could not know just how differing the team would look when the dust settled.

Well, it did not take long for the deals to start coming, and with them it has become quite clear the 2017 Cardinals will look considerably different than the 2016 version.

As for whether they will be better or worse, only time will be able to tell.

With all that in mind, since it can be difficult to keep track of all the comings and goings, here is a running list of the players Arizona lost — along with to whom and for what — as well as those the Cardinals either kept or brought in.

Free agents lost

Player New Team Contract Note
Calais Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars 4 yrs, $60 million ($30 mil guaranteed) Can AZ’s young defensive lineman step up and replace long-time Cardinal?
Tony Jefferson Baltimore Ravens 4 yrs, $34 million ($19 mil guaranteed) Earned prominent role and large contract, will be tough to replace
Marcus Cooper Chicago Bears 3 yrs, $16 million ($8 mil guaranteed) Was better than people think, no proven options after him
D.J. Swearinger Washington Redskins 3 yrs, $13.5 million Resuscitated career with Cardinals, hard-hitter with talent
Earl Watford Jacksonville Jaguars 2 yrs, $6 million Provided valuable depth, but not proven as a starter
Darren Fells Detroit Lions 1 yr, $1.5 million Flashed potential but team moved on
Chandler Catanzaro New York Jets 1 yr, (financial value not yet known) May develop into a reliable kicker, but Cards couldn’t wait
Alex Okafor New Orleans Saints 1 yr, up to $3 million Showed promise as a pass rusher but was not much room in AZ for big role
Kevin Minter Cincinnati Bengals 1 yr, up to $4.5 million Started every game the last two seasons; solid overall but Cards want more speed/coverage ability

Free agents added

Player Prev. Team Contract Note
Chandler Jones Arizona Cardinals 5 yrs, $82.5 million ($53 mil guaranteed) Team made a long-term contract a priority, and with good reason
A.Q. Shipley Arizona Cardinals 2 yrs, $3.5 million Started all 16 games at center last season, has value
Antoine Bethea San Francisco 49ers 3 yrs, (financial value not yet known) Brings plenty of experience to the table, has big shoes to fill
Josh Mauro Arizona Cardinals 2 yrs, $2.05 million Solid lineman who has struggled at times to stay healthy
Phil Dawson San Francisco 49ers 2 yrs, $6 million ($1.5 mil guaranteed) May not have the biggest leg, but has come up big in clutch situations before
Karlos Dansby Cincinnati Bengals 1 yr, $2 million ($700K guaranteed) Third stint in AZ for ‘Los, good pickup if still has gas left in tank
Jermaine Gresham Arizona Cardinals 4 yrs, $28 million ($16.5 mil guaranteed) Coaches valued his passion and blocking, showed more as receiver in 2016
Andre Ellington Arizona Cardinals 1 yr, (financial value not yet known) A bit of a surprise he’s back, though team wants pass-catching RBs and he knows system
Jarvis Jones Pittsburgh Steelers 1 yr, (financial value not yet known) Disappointment as a pass rusher but solid against the run; provides cheap depth
Frostee Rucker Arizona Cardinals 1 yr, ($1.08 million, chance for bonuses) Veteran leader who is productive when healthy

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