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The Arizona Cardinals have been active in free agency, adding talented players at several positions. By adding defensive end J.J. Watt, receiver A.J. Green, kicker Matt Prater and center Rodney Hudson, although Hudson was a trade acquisition, they added veteran talent. However, those moves did nothing to change where they stand in the latest set of power rankings.
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus put together new post-free agency rankings and the Cardinals sit right in the middle of the pack, ranked 16th, where they also stood last time.
The Cardinals have been aggressive in targeting veteran talent on the market. The first move was the biggest, with the signing of J.J. Watt to a multi-year deal. GM Steve Keim added more 30-something name-brand talent with the acquisition of wide receiver A.J. Green. The longtime Bengal looked like a star in steep decline last season, but Arizona is banking on a change of scenery doing the trick. Does Green’s arrival mean a retirement decision is coming for Larry Fitzgerald?
The Cardinals were one game out of the playoffs last season and, actually, one field goal away, as Zane Gonzalez missed a potential game-winning kick against the New England Patriots.
The pass rush should be better with Watt and the return of Chandler Jones. The offensive line is better in the middle with Hudson in the lineup. Green’s addition at wideout is an improvement on the outside and will force Christian Kirk to move inside, a more natural position for him. They get greater consistency from Prater in the kicking game.
That said, in a tough NFC West, the Cardinals have a challenge. They are the lowest-ranked team in the division as the L.A. Rams are No. 8. the Seattle Seahawks are No. 9 and the San Francisco 49ers are No. 12.