STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The team is interested in signing quarterback Peyton Manning, but like every other club, they have many unanswered questions. They don't know about Manning's health or his timetable for choosing a team.
But they have expressed interest and should be in the mix for Manning's services, provided he returns to health.
The coaching staff and pro scouts returned from the Combine to continue formulating a plan for free agency.
Cornerback Richard Marshall is a priority. He became a starter midway through the year, and also played safety when Kerry Rhodes was injured.
Offensive tackle: The club is trying to re-sign left tackle Levi Brown, figuring he is their best option. Brown played well over the last half of the 2011 season after playing below expectations for most of the previous 41/2 years. His cap number is due to escalate to $17 million, so he will be released and hit the market if a deal can't be reached. Brown has value, too, because he can play right tackle. The starter there, Brandon Keith, has shown flashes of ability, but hasn't produced consistently. If Brown re-signs, the team is most likely to address this position via the draft rather than free agency.
Wide receiver: Coaches still like Andre Roberts, the starter opposite Larry Fitzgerald. But Early Doucet, the No. 3 receiver, is an unrestricted free agent and there isn't much proven talent behind those three players. The Cardinals could still use someone with the ability to get deep. It's not likely to be addressed in the first round but somewhere in the fourth and fifth rounds makes sense. Free agency is also a possibility. If, say, Pierre Garcon, comes at a reasonable price, that would be a quality acquisition.
Outside linebacker: The projected starters, O'Brien Schofield and Sam Acho, are young but there the depth is shallow. Joey Porter won't be re-signed. Clark Haggans is 34 and a free agent. The Cardinals are committed to a 3-4 so drafting an outside linebacker or two every year makes sense.