Arizona Cardinals Free Agency news: Analyzing NFL side's latest signings
The Arizona Cardinals are gearing up for a roster overhaul under new general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon.
With key priorities including the offensive line, cornerback, and pass rush, the Cardinals have made several strategic signings. Let's take a closer look at each of these new additions and how they might impact the upcoming season.
Arizona Cardinals signings
L.J. Collier (DT) signed a one-year deal, providing much-needed depth to the defensive line after the departures of J.J. Watt and Zach Allen. Capable of playing across the line, Collier could start immediately or contribute significantly in a rotational role. The minimal risk associated with his one-year deal ensures that Collier can bring value to the team even if he doesn't reach starter status.
Antonio Hamilton (CB) returns on a one-year deal, potentially reclaiming a starting position at cornerback after the loss of Byron Murphy. Having overcome serious burns last season to become a starter, Hamilton offers stability in a position needing further reinforcement. The low-risk one-year deal means that Hamilton can serve as a starter or role player depending on his performance.
Jonathan Ledbetter (DT) has re-signed on a one-year deal, looking to capitalize on his impressive but limited playing time last season. With the opportunity to earn significant playing time during OTAs and minicamp, Ledbetter brings plenty of upside with minimal risk.
Former Philadelphia Eagle Zach Pascal (WR) joins the Cardinals on a two-year deal, adding depth to a receiving corps uncertain about its No. 1 option. Pascal's familiarity with head coach Jonathan Gannon from their time together in Philadelphia and Indianapolis offers added value. Competing for snaps with other role receivers, Pascal's role will be determined by his ability to crack the rotation.
David Blough (QB) returns to on a one-year deal and is currently the only healthy quarterback on the roster. His performances during OTAs and minicamp will determine whether he serves as a camp body or retains his third-string quarterback position from last year. With no risk associated with his signing, Blough's role is yet to be determined.
Will Hernandez (OL) re-signed on a two-year deal, likely retaining his starting right guard position from last season. With a familiar face up front, Hernandez's primary risk is potential injury.
Kyzir White (LB) agreed to a two-year deal with Arizona, adding depth to the outside linebacker position. Familiar with head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis from his time with the Eagles, White is expected to fill a variety of roles in Arizona's defense. With minimal risk, any sacks White contributes will be a bonus for the team's pass rush.
Hjalte Froholdt (OL) joins on a two-year deal after starting games at both center and guard for the Cleveland Browns last season. Competing for starting roles at both positions, Froholdt offers depth and flexibility to the offensive line with little risk.
Kelvin Beachum (OT) re-signed on a two-year deal, providing stability to the offensive line. Expected to start at right tackle, Beachum's leadership and locker room presence make him a valuable asset to the team. The low-risk deal presents a bargain for the franchise
Ezekiel Turner (LB) returns to on a one-year deal, continuing his role as a key special teams player. With minimal risk associated with his signing, Turner's contribution to the team remains consistent.
Matt Prater (K) resigns on a two-year deal, bringing back an essential player on the roster. Despite a hip injury last season, the 38-year-old Prater remained consistent, making 22 of 25 field goals and 17 of 18 extra points.
As a historically reliable kicker, Prater's primary challenge in 2023 will be maintaining his physical readiness, given his age. The main risk with Prater is injury, which could force the Cardinals to seek a replacement.
Corey Clement (RB) re-signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal, offering depth to the running back position. With only 15 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown in nine games last season, Clement will serve as a safety net for James Conner and compete for the backup role. Minimal risk is associated with Clement's signing, as his performances can only improve from last season.
Greg Dortch (WR) returns on a one-year deal, providing reliability as a depth receiver. Last season, Dortch recorded 52 catches for 467 yards and two touchdowns.
While wide receiver remains a position the Cardinals must address, Dortch offers a solid weapon further down the depth chart. With little risk involved, Dortch can contribute as a third or fourth receiver and potentially serve as a kick returner.
Notable Arizona Cardinals departures
The Cardinals faced significant roster changes during the offseason, starting with the retirement of defensive powerhouse J.J. Watt. Watt's departure leaves a void in the defensive line that the team must fill.
Another notable loss is Zach Allen, whose absence will further impact the Cardinals' pass rush. Allen had shown promise and versatility on the defensive line, and his departure will be felt.
The Cardinals' secondary also took a hit with the loss of cornerback Byron Murphy. As a key player in the defensive backfield, Murphy's absence creates a gap the team must address to maintain a strong pass defense.
On the offensive side, Arizona lost center Rodney Hudson, whose experience and consistency on the offensive line will be sorely missed. Hudson's departure necessitates finding a reliable replacement to protect quarterback Kyler Murray.