Three weeks after free agency began, teams have turned their attention towards the draft. The Cardinals have seen more players leave during free agency than they have brought in, a big plus for fans of compensatory picks, but not great for fans of the onfield product. Today we take a look at the moves or lack of moves the team made in week three of free agency.
Blaine Gabbert QB – FA; Titans
The Blaine Gabbert experiment in Arizona is over. The veteran quarterback signed with the Tennessee Titans last week, ending his time with the Cardinals after just one season. The former first round pick struggled with consistency for the seventh straight season. He started five games in 2017 after quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton were injured. Gabbert was underwhelming, finishing with 1,086 yards on 55 percent passing and six touchdowns to six interceptions.
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Gabbert was able navigate the team to wins against two AFC playoff participants in the Titans and Jaguars. Both wins were home games where Gabbert did just enough to let the defense take over and win the game. In the end the veteran played his worst when the Cardinals needed him the most. The season effectively ended following a loss to Washington on the road. The loss officially ended chances for the Cardinals to make the playoffs for the second straight season. Gabbert finished the day with 189 yards on 39 percent passing, including an interception and being sacked five times.
The Cardinals enter April with 11 free agents who finished the season on the roster. Chief among those are veterans Adrian Peterson, Alex Boone, and Frostee Rucker. All three spent significant time starting for the Cardinals but are financial casualties in favor of younger players. The same can be said for other roster bubble players like Earl Watford and Kerwynn Williams.
It is likely that Arizona brings back some of their free agents during training camp to compete for roster spots. The status quo for most NFL teams is to bring in camp bodies with veteran minimum contracts to compete as well as supplement the bottom of the roster with middle of the road veterans who are system fits. However, as the focus turns to the draft in a few weeks, the Cardinals will likely refrain from the free agency market.