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Arizona Cardinals

Updated May 20, 2013 - 1:00 pm

ESPN's Clayton: Cardinals were a free agency winner

Antoine Cason is one of many new Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals needed to remake their roster.

Winners of just five games in 2012 and having missed the postseason three straight years, there was plenty of room for improvement. And, according to ESPN's John Clayton, new general manager Steve Keim did an excellent job of adding pieces through free agency without breaking the bank on some of the high-priced stars.

As for teams, three winners emerged from the post-frenzy shopping market -- Arizona, Chicago and Tennessee. Based on playing time from last year, I'd give the Cardinals the slight edge from the post-March 17 market. Among their signings, cornerback Antoine Cason played 976 snaps for the Chargers last year, Jasper Brinkley had 813 snaps at linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, and Chilo Rachal had 643 snaps on the Bears' offensive line. The cost was a combined $5.7 million in contracts.

Many of the team's additions are of the "fly under the radar" type, though most played significant roles for their previous team.

Clayton noted that the Cardinals ranked 14th in the league as far as money spent, handing out $36.9 million to free agents.

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