Michael Bidwill said the signing of JJ Watt had already “increased the energy” around the team and the Cardinals owner called the addition of the defensive wing a “culture change.” It remains to be seen whether Watt’s presence will spur more free agents to join the Cardinals.
But general manager Steve Keim said on Wednesday he didn’t expect the Cardinals to finish in free agency.
“I don’t think we’re significantly limited,” Keim said after Watt signed a two-year contract worth up to $ 31 million.
The Cardinals still have $ 9.422 million under the projected cap, according to spotrac.com.
“That’s why we structured the contract the way we did and the way we did a number of other things financially,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “These are some of the benefits you get. . . to have a rookie quarterback on his first contract. We have a window in time where we can do different things and be flexible.
“At the same time, we have to be smart with this and we have to look to the future to move forward and look at the next three years. I still have a different point of view than a lot of people. “
The Cardinals have 28 free agents, including cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebacker Haason Reddick and Kenyan running back Drake. Some will come back; some will not.
“Just by looking at the cost of doing business and the way it works, some of these players will be able to come back,” Keim added. “It depends on what the market is going to present.”