With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror and training camp just a couple of months away, we assess the Arizona Cardinals' offseason moves.
New left tackle Jared Veldheer gives the Cardinals an established veteran at a position of need.
Best move: Adding left tackle Jared Veldheer early in free agency solidified a position that has plagued the team for years. He is a top-tier tackle who can protect quarterback Carson Palmer's blind side, a move that was necessary to keep the veteran Palmer as healthy as possible as the Cardinals make a run for the playoffs. Veldheer also showed a change in philosophy in the Cards’ front office. Going after a big name early in free agency showed the Cards' commitment to making a postseason push.
Riskiest move: Adding a 30-year-old cornerback with a recent history of hip issues isn’t exactly the most sound move, which is why signing Antonio Cromartie was the riskiest move for the Cardinals this offseason. But if Cromartie is healthy, he also can be the most rewarding move. It is yet to be seen how healthy Cromartie actually is. By signing him, Arizona moved Jerraud Powers, last season’s starter at cornerback across from Patrick Peterson, to the bench. If Cromartie doesn't pan out, the Cards would have to go back to Powers.
Most surprising move: Not taking a right tackle in the draft was the most surprising move because of the need at the position. The Cardinals didn’t re-sign last season's starting right tackle, Eric Winston, leaving the position up for grabs between Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie. Instead of grooming a rookie in case Sowell and Massie do not pan out, the Cardinals will sign a free agent or bring back Winston.
Smartest move: Without realizing it, the Cardinals’ smartest move this offseason might have been signing Ted Ginn. The veteran speedster will be Arizona’s third wide receiver and its kick returner. He will be an instant upgrade at both and already has started to draw rave reviews from teammates. His addition gives them an established player at both positions, and his resume speaks for itself.