CAP Space Analysis: Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals come into 2021 with about $15 million in cap room. Let’s investigate what the future fantasy implications are and what moves they can make with this cap space while seeing what they could do in the upcoming weeks to free up even more.
With the moves above the Cardinals could free up just under $43 million in cap space having about $58 million then attack free agency with.
With only 5 draft picks, I would not be shocked if they trade back in the first and second to try and acquire extra draft capital to supplement this roster as they also have 29 free agents.
Their offensive line was a concern last year as they were the most penalized team in the NFL and had a very inconsistent rushing attack which adds to them likely looking to FA and the draft to repair their offensive line. They do have some young players that could step into larger roles allowing them to let Kelvin Beachum and JR Sweezy walk in free agency.
The struggle also extended to the defense especially the secondary which was in the bottom 1/3 of the league inefficiency. This will be a position of need to address in free agency and the draft likely. Adding JJ Watt will help this area as he and Jones will be a fierce pass-rushing duo allowing for opposing QBs to have less time to throw masking the holes in the secondary.
Back on the offensive side of the ball, I do not expect Kenyan Drake to be back and from what their GM has been saying they will try and get a higher caliber back in to help take the pressure off Murray and the o-line. If they can acquire extra draft capital, then expect them to look to the draft but Aaron Jones’ name has been floated out there and he would be an upgrade but would likely cost around $15 million a year and with their other holes and needs, may not be the best option to allow them to be more competitive. Their second or third-round pick then could be used on some of the backs in this draft that could provide a spark. The answer though could already be on their roster in Eno Benjamin though. He could be what they need and is already under contract to boot. The 7th round pick last year didn’t see the field and could be had extremely cheaply or free.
For WRs its Hopkins or bust for now. Kirk has the hype and potential that makes us think he could be the 2 now that Fitzgerald is likely retiring but I think most of us agree that ship has sailed, and they likely sign someone cheaply in free agency or if they get more picks take a WR later in the draft to bolster this group. I am not targeting any WRs outside of Hopkins on this roster unless they sign someone and pay them more than $5 million a year putting them in the top 10 of all players on the roster.
For TE they sparingly used the position and Dan Arnold saw some late-year success catching TDs but was only getting 3-4 targets on average. Unless they add someone like Jonnu Smith, I would avoid this position as well. Again though, if they sign someone and pay them over $5 million a year putting them in top 10 of paid players I would try to acquire them.
1st Round #16
2nd Round #49
3rd Round #80
4th Round #144
7th Round #208