PFF takes a look at the Arizona Cardinals’ free-agency landscape
Feb 12, 2020, 6:38 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2020, 7:17 am
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals are projected to have some of the most cap space in the NFL as they enter free agency in 2020.
What they do with that cash is still up in the air.
With that in mind, Pro Football Focus broke down each team heading into free agency, taking a look at players to target, soon-to-be unrestricted free agents and potential cuts.
Needing to add along the offensive line and secondary, PFF named four free agents that could help turn the tide for Arizona in 2020 and beyond.
While the team saw its O-line play improve dramatically last season, three of the four free-agent targets do their work down in the trenches. There’s a reason for that.
Arizona’s offensive line might see a seismic shift this March, as two of their starters are free agents and they’ll have to consider a few others on the line. Both Humphries and Shipley ranked among the lower quarter at their position in WAR this past season, and Humphries, in particular, is going to command $13.5 million per year in free agency.
In addition to D.J. Humphries and A.Q. Shipley, tackles Marcus Gilbert and Justin Murray are soon-to-be unrestricted free agents, helping bring the Cardinals’ total number of UFAs to 20. That also includes running back Kenyan Drake and defensive end Rodney Gunter.
The potential departure of Humphries leaves a glaring hole at the tackle spot, one that PFF believes can be filled with Green Bay Packer T Bryan Bulaga.
Receiving an overall PFF grade of 77.9, Bulaga is graded as the sixth-best free agent tackle in the NFL. Bulaga finished the 2019-20 season with 898 snaps played and four sacks allowed. He was called for six penalties, but was still ranked as a top-20 tackle. For reference, Humphries landed at No. 5.
Joining Bulaga on the free-agent target list are guards Graham Glasgow and Brandon Scherff. Cutting guard J.R. Sweezy, who underwhelmed last year, would save the team $4 million in 2020. Scherff and Glasgow ranked 10th and 12th among guards, respectively. Scherff, who played for Washington last season, saw 643 snaps, committing nine penalties and allowing just one sack for a 74.1 PFF grade. Glasgow played 872 snaps and committed three penalties. He did not allow a sack, and finished 2019 with a grade of 75 as a member of the Detroit Lions.
Defensively, PFF feels Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith fits a need in Arizona’s secondary.
Last season, the nine-year vet played in nine games, recording 30 tackles, an interception, six passes defensed and a sack for a PFF grade of 65.6. He ranks as the 10th best among all unrestricted free agent cornerbacks.