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Sunday, March 2, 2014
Cards Mailbag: 1 week to free agency

By Josh Weinfuss

Welcome to #CardsMailbag, a weekly installment that allows you to ask Josh Weinfuss questions throughout the week via Twitter @joshweinfuss. He'll answer them every week during the offseason. Make sure to use the hash tag: #CardsMailbag.

@joshweinfuss I like what the Cards got with one year deals last year. Do you see Keim doing that again? Drafting, then filling holes?

— Dan Voss (@therealdvoss) February 25, 2014


@joshweinfuss I think it’ll be the other way around. I think Cardinals general manager Steve Keim will use free agency to fill certain holes with one-year deals and then if the right players come up in the draft, he’ll pick them and let them earn their playing time -- basically drafting for the future. It’s a lot easier to plug holes with free agents because they’re proven players, so Keim and head coach Bruce Arians will know what they’re getting.

@joshweinfuss post #nflcombine which under the radar player has garnered te most interest for the #azcardinals? #CardsMailbag

— Mads Pedersen (@Clemme9k) February 25, 2014


@joshweinfuss Not sure there’s just one, and knowing Keim and Arians, they won’t tip their hat if there’s a gem waiting for them later in the rounds. Some of the tight ends really impressed at the combine so don’t be surprised if the Cardinals go that route earlier than expected.

@joshweinfuss Mendenhall to retire? #CardsMailbag

— Jeromy (@ndhark) February 26, 2014


@joshweinfuss You must be referring to his column for Huffington Post, in which he was very cryptic about seeing a vision that lasted two years. Read it here. But I’m not quite sure he meant retirement, although I don’t know for sure. After reading the column again, he could have meant that the process of coming back from a knee injury like that was two years in the making and now that he’s at “peace” his mind his clear and his body is healthy, so all is good. Then again, he could retire tomorrow. Hard to read people’s thoughts.

@joshweinfuss how does the rumored increase of the cap help the team? Especially in future years re: Fitz? #cardsmailbag

— BSB (@ismebsb) February 26, 2014


@joshweinfuss Well, the salary cap was officially raised to $133 million last week, which means that while some individual players’ values will undoubtedly go up, having more money to work with will definitely help. The Cardinals gained another $10 million in cap room just from the league-wide increase and that’s on top of the extra space created by Larry Fitzgerald’s restructuring. As for him specifically, the cap is expected to grow even more in the coming years, which, depending on how Fitzgerald produces, could make him staying a Cardinal more likely. If the cap hits $140 million or more next year, I can potentially see one more restructuring in Fitzgerald’s future but they’ll work out the rest of his contract so his cap number will be manageable through the remainder of his contract.

@joshweinfuss Are all the Branden Albert-to-Arizona rumors true, or could it be a ploy by Albert's agent to drive up price? #CardsMailbag

— Shaun Church (@Church_NFL) February 25, 2014


@joshweinfuss There haven’t been any definitive Albert-to-Arizona rumors, but they’re interested in the left tackle. Then again, so are a lot of teams. I don’t think this is a ploy by Albert’s agent to drive up the price. I think that’ll naturally happen by the increased interest from so many teams, the Cardinals included. At the same time, however, that also might price Albert out of the Cardinals’ range.