Free agent signings galore, so what do the Cards have to show for it:
Todd Heap comes back home to combine with Max Hall for a Mountain View Alumni meeting. Couple that with Deuce, Mesa High School, coming back for an all Mesa team. Heap is a great signing. Kolb, unlike Mike Vick, loved playing with Brent Celek and used him often as a security blanket. This is a huge upgrade at the position even as old and brittle as he is. But 600 yards and 5 TD's last year is nothing to turn your nose up to. Right now he's the best TE they've had since... crap... ever? It sure wasn't Johnny McWilliams, or Leonard Pope, or Stephen Spach. Maybe Jay Novacek in '89. With depth at the position now his injuries don't become a major factor. I love this signing.
Oh do I feel bad for Deuce. It's like Oliver Miller all over again. This guy is talented and I was a bit surprised to see the Cards not sign him first. He's lost the weight before, he'll do it again. If not, he's out of work.
Timmy Hightower progressed well over his years here. When he first came into the league I was stunned at how awful his footwork was. It wasn't even good for college. But boy did he improve. The last two seasons it was hardly noticeable. But as we all know his hands are the problem. You can't play that position well and fumble that much. The coaches must share some of the blame for either not teaching him correct technique or not benching him to get the message through. If Tiki Barber can figure it out why can't Timmy. (or Beanie) This opens the door for Ryan Williams. I won't be surprised to see Williams starting by the 3rd week. Vonnie Holliday brings experience and depth to DE. Who knows, maybe he can become a solid contributor like his days with the Dolphins. Normally I wouldn't get excited about receiving a late round pick, but the way the Cardinals have drafted lately I wouldn't discount another gem.
Richard Marshall might fall into the Paris Lenon category of "not much love for a solid starter". I hope he has the year Paris did last year. This gives them much better depth with Toler, PP, and Jefferson. From what I gather, Marshall plays the game as physical as Toler with a high tackle rate. I'm always worried though when I see a CB with a lot of tackles.
He may not be the best guard out there but at least Daryn Colledge started for the best offense. For the last 5 years in Green Bay he only missed 4 starts. Again, this is a great signing for the previously weakest point on this team.
Joey Porter continues to impress me. Although I don't blame him for his lousy year last year (ahem Bill Davis), he took a pay cut to help the team because of it. Thats pretty ballsy. I look for he and Horton to have a fun year together and I think he's got way more in the tank than last year indicated.
Stewart Bradley might take Darryl Washington's starting job this year. Washington played way too undisciplined last year. While I don't totally blame him (ahem Bill Davis), I do think it will take time to route out all the bad habits he perepetuated. Bradley had a good season last year after his ACL tear. This bolsters a thin interior. Another solid signing.
Chansi Stuckey is a wasted signing. If they land Braylon Edwards or Malcolm Floyd, then that leaves Fitz, Doucet, Roberts, and Williams (with an outside chance on DeMarco Sampson) to fill out the position. They love all four of those and I don't see them keeping six like last year. Doucet can never stay healthy so maybe Stuckey fills his spot, but I'd rather see the Sampson kid get a shot than a WR from Cleveland.
O.K. this might not constitute as big news, but I was bummed they didn't land Pat Devlin out of the undrafted free agents. Pat has size and a sick completion percentage. He inexplicably fell of the charts in the draft, and I think Miami got a low risk steal here. I heard the Cards were interested though.
This team has exactly the pieces you want to make a good run. They have a nice mix of veterans and young talent. If they pick up a 2nd WR, then they are solid at every position, with the exception of RT. They nailed this season's free agency.