Cards focus on offensive line in free agency

Three of the first four free agents to visit Arizona were offensive linemen, indicating the team's priorities this offseason.

Three of the first four free agents to visit the Cardinals were offensive linemen, a clear indication of the team's priority this offseason.

As many as three offensive line positions are open: both tackles and right guard.

The Cardinals took one step in addressing the need, signing Adam Snyder, who spent seven seasons with the 49ers to a five-year deal.

Financial terms were not available, but the Cardinals likely didn't spend much money.

Snyder is a serviceable veteran, and he played well for the 49ers after taking over the starting job in the fourth game. The Cardinals have talked to Snyder about starting at right guard, but Snyder said he knows that could change.

Snyder has started at both tackle and guard positions in his career, and even played a few snaps at center last season.

With a need at right tackle, the Cardinals could move Snyder there if they acquire another guard via free agency or the draft.

The Cardinals' interest in re-signing right tackle Brandon Keith appears lukewarm. Keith has struggled with knee problems, and was inconsistent even when he's healthy.

The Cardinals would sign him for a bargain figure, but would continue to pursue another tackle that could provide competition.

Rex Hadnot started at right guard last season, taking over for Deuce Lutui, who struggled with his weight for the last two seasons. Hadnot has another year left on his contract and could stay. He can also play center, so that versatility gives him added value.

Snyder also could be a valuable backup if he doesn't earn a starting job. With the 49ers, he proved he could fill in capably at four positions without the benefit of much practice time. That's a valuable skill.

The Cardinals brought in Jake Scott, a guard from Tennessee, and Demetrius Bell, a tackle from Buffalo, on the second day of free agency.

Snyder's signing doesn't preclude the possibility of signing Scott, a solid veteran. Bell would fill a need at left tackle, provided he's healthy. The Cardinals also were able to re-sign starter Levi Brown to a five-year contract after they had released him earlier in the week.

Bell might be an upgrade, if he's healthy. He's missed major portions of two of his four seasons with knee and shoulder injuries. When he has been healthy, he's played well.

In all, the Cardinals could have three new starters on their offensive line in 2012. The only ones assured of spots are left guard Daryn Colledge, a free-agent acquisition a year ago, and center Lyle Sendlein, who signed a five-year contract before last season.

The team also is expected to address those positions in the draft.

The first free agent to visit the Cardinals during the period was former Raiders receiver Chaz Schilens.

Schilens is from the Phoenix area, so he made Arizona his first start before visiting the Jets and 49ers. He then signed with the Jets.

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