Those big-spending Arizona Cardinals

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
3:45
PM ET
The Arizona Cardinals' critics might have to shift away from longstanding characterizations of the organization as a cheap one.

As ESPN's John Clayton notes, the Cardinals have the NFL's highest cash payroll at present, right around $119 million. They are also over the projected salary cap, an indication they have work to do before free agency opens Tuesday. As Clayton also notes, releasing Levi Brown and signing franchise player Calais Campbell to a long-term deal would rectify the cap situation.

The cap crunch will not stop the Cardinals from pursuing Peyton Manning. Teams can create cap room when they really want to create it. Manning would be a big enough draw for the Cardinals to create room by the necessary means, in my view.

But getting a deal with Manning would require significant cash outlays, making the cheap label seem even more outdated.

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