5 Overrated NFL Free Agents Arizona Cardinals Should Avoid At All Costs
5 Free Agents Who the Cardinals Should Avoid
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a 10-6 season but one where they didn’t make the playoffs. Being in the NFC West, their goal isn't going to be any easier this season. They will need to look to upgrade in several areas to compete with their own division along with the rest of the NFC and any crossover games.
The Cardinals have needs in various positions such as LT, RB, TE, nickel CB, S and more. Head coach Bruce Arians and his staff are known for coaching up players and getting everything out of them. While they may be tempted to spend a lot of money in free agency, they shouldn't because there are a lot of overrated players on the market this year with lots of injury concerns. Remember that they are free agents for a reason and if their current team doesn't want them, it should raise some type of red flag.
Another thing to take note of is that those who win the offseason usually don’t win during the season. Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins spent a lot of money and both teams underperformed and didn’t make the playoffs. Free agency is all about getting value, coaching up the players you get, and filling the remaining holes through the draft.
This slideshow looks at five players who the Cardinals may be targeting but should pass up on due to various reasons which are explained inside. While some of you may want these players, it’s important to look at it objectively and for who the players really are.
5. Kellen Winslow - Tight End
The Cardinals will be looking for a tight end and Arians loves blocking tight ends. However, a name that pops out is Kellen Winslow. Winslow seems like someone who can be that blocking tight end while also being a vertical threat. Even though he had an overall grade of 4.9 from Pro Football Focus, he had a pass block grade of -0.7 and a run block grade of -0.2. Add to the fact that Winslow has battled multiple injuries and is getting up there in age and he seems like an unlikely option. There are better options such as Dante Rosario and Ben Hartsock.
4. Louis Delmas - Safety
GM Steve Keim has talked about getting longer at this position to defend opposing tight ends better. Louis Delmas will be a hot name on the market but I'm not sure why. Although Delmas is 27, he has injury concerns with his hip, ankle and knee. According to Pro Football Focus, he had an overall rating of 2.0 this past season. Delmas had a pass coverage grade of 5.4 and a -1.5 against the run. While those numbers may look enticing, his injury history would be of concern to me. There are better options on the market who would prove to be much more valuable.
3. Walter Thurmond - Cornerback
The Cardinals will be in the market for a nickel cornerback but it shouldn’t be Walter Thurmond. Although they would be taking him away from a rival in their division, his numbers just don’t work. He had an overall grade of 2.4 with a pass coverage grade of 2.1 and a run defense grade of -1.4. He also seems like he may be a product of the system with the Seattle Seahawks where they have a ferocious pass rush which takes pressure off of the cornerbacks. There will be better options on the market.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew - Running Back
Although the Cardinals seem to be loaded at running back, they haven’t seen much production from their players, with the exception of Andre Ellington. They are a young and inexperienced group and could use veteran leadership. That person should not be Maurice Jones–Drew. He is 28-years old, which is old for a running back. He had an overall grade of 3.9 but a rushing grade of -5.7. Although he was playing on a bad team, he has a ton of mileage on his legs and would not be worth the kind of money he will be looking for.
1. Branden Albert - Left Tackle
The Cardinals will be in the market for a left tackle but it shouldn’t be Branden Albert. In 2013, he had an overall grade of 11.5. His pass block grade was 14.7 and his run block was -2.3. Of the 14 games he played including the first round of the playoffs, he graded positive nine times and negative four times. Albert has been playing since 2008 and has only played a full season once. He has played in 15, 14, 15, 16, 13 and 12 games, respectively. Over the years, he has battled foot, elbow, ankle, groin, back and knee injuries.