Arizona Cardinals Continue Investments for Long Term

By Greg Archuleta

Even if slow and steady may win the race, it’s not a popular approach in the desert.

The Cardinals restructured offensive guard Daryn Colledge’s contract Monday, clearing more than $2 million in cap space. They also re-signed long snapper Mike Leach and linebacker Reggie Walker to multiyear contracts. This after the team signed cornerback William Gay to fill the void left by the departure of Richard Marshall to the Miami Dolphins.

Arizona has done everything coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was going to do after last season, and still people are questioning the Cardinals’ offseason motives.

Whisenhunt, who made the Cardinals relevant for the first time in a long time by taking them to the 2008 Super Bowl, deserves the benefit of the doubt in moving the team forward.

Yes, they still have to hope that Kevin Kolb turns into the quarterback of the future. If he’s not, there’s no rule in place that forbids other successful QBs from becoming free agents in the next couple of years.

Could it be that Arizona is actually … building for a long-term future?

In the NFL, the idea seems outdated – especially when any team can get hot and make a run in a given year. The New York Giants were 7-7 with two games left in the season and on the verge of firing coach Tom Coughlin when they got on a run and ended up winning the Super Bowl.

But why is the notion of forming a nucleus for a multiyear run dismissed so easily? The six free agents Arizona has re-signed know the coaching staff, know the schemes, know the routines. Without a work stoppage to keep the players out, the Cardinals should be in position for a much stronger start in 2012.

Get back to the playoffs, and it’s anybody’s game. If not in 2012, then 2013.

Don’t say that to a Twitter society that expects everything to happen instantaneously. But if the Cardinals aren’t making the loudest tweets, that doesn’t mean they’re not effective.

Nobody’s winning the Super Bowl in March.

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