Pro Football Focus: Cardinals earn B+ grade for offseason moves

Mar 25, 2016, 7:05 PM | Updated: Mar 26, 2016, 3:52 pm

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) sacks Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mett...

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) sacks Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

With the key additions of guard Evan Mathis, safety Tyvon Branch and defensive end Chandler Jones, along with the retention of tight end Jermaine Gresham, Pro Football Focus has given the Arizona Cardinals a B+ for its free agency grade.

The biggest move the Cardinals made was acquiring Chandler Jones in exchange for G Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick, which bolsters their edge-rush opposite second-year player Markus Golden. Jones is a capable run-defender, and last season racked up 68 pressures (including playoffs), more than any player on Arizona’s defense has had since 2013.

PFF added that Mathis is expected to replace Cooper and unsigned guard Ted Larson.

Mathis has been the highest-rated guard over the last five seasons according to PFF, and paring him with Mike Iupati, the Cardinals now have two of last season’s top three run-blockers at the position.

PFF added that Branch has had durability issues. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s logged less than 800 snaps over the past three seasons, compared to over 2,500 snaps for Johnson.

Other key losses for the Cardinals besides Cooper and Johnson include linebacker Dwight Freeney and offensive tackle Bobby Massie. Although Freeney has indicated he wants to play, he has yet sign with a team.

The Cardinals’ B+ grade is tops in the NFC West as the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks each received a C-, while the San Francisco 49ers received a D+.

Arizona Cardinals

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals shakes hands with fans after beating the Seattle Seahawks 2...

Wills Rice

Carson Palmer believes Cardinals need Budda Baker

Carson Palmer thinks keeping safety Budda Baker around is vital for the rebuilding years of the Arizona Cardinals.

10 hours ago

DeAndre Hopkins...

Arizona Sports

Breer: ‘There’s a healthy divide’ on what ex-Cardinal DeAndre Hopkins has left

The MMQB's Albert Breer sees a split between those who think Hopkins still has something left and those who feel his price tag is too steep.

1 day ago

DeAndre Hopkins speaks after a game...

Dan Bickley

DeAndre Hopkins’ release ends WR’s selfish legacy with Cardinals

For the second time in three years, DeAndre Hopkins is moving on to another team and bringing little or nothing of value in return.

1 day ago

Zaven Collins tackles Dalvin Cook...

Tyler Drake

Vikings hosting joint practices with Cardinals ahead of preseason matchup

The Minnesota Vikings are hosting the Arizona Cardinals for joint practices ahead of their preseason tilt on Aug. 26.

1 day ago

DeAndre Hopkins...

Tyler Drake

Positives of DeAndre Hopkins’ release outweigh negative of Cardinals not trading WR

The Arizona Cardinals missed out on receiving some kind of trade compensation for DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. And that's OK.

1 day ago

DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson...

Arizona Sports

DeAndre Hopkins market could include Deshaun Watson reunion on Browns

DeAndre Hopkins has an advocate in Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, his former Houston Texans teammate.

1 day ago

Pro Football Focus: Cardinals earn B+ grade for offseason moves