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NFL Off-season 2013 A-Z: Arizona Cardinals

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

This is the first installment of a 32 part series on the 2013 NFL Off-season Team-by-Team Analysis.

2012 Record:  5-11 (4th NFC West) 

Free Agents (Pending): CB Greg Toler-FS Kerry Rhodes-TE Todd Heap

Coaching Moves/Changes: GM Steve Keim, Head coach Bruce Arians, O. Coordinator Tom Moore, D. Coordinator Todd Bowles 

Cap Space: Upwards of $723,000

2013 Draft Picks: 7 (1), 38 (2), 71 (3), 102 (4), 135 (5), 166 (6), 199 (7)

Off-Season To-Do List:

-Get a reliable QB in Alex Smith. It is common knowledge that Colin Kaepernick is the future of the 49ers, so Alex Smith wants out. Where better to go than a team in the same division that can provide him with an all-pro receiver in Larry Fitzgerald? The Cardinals are a developing team looking for a star to build around at the QB spot, and Alex Smith could be that star. 

-Sign a slot receiver to take the focus off of Fitzgerald. If Alex Smith does end up in Phoenix, the Cardinals are going to need to provide him a better receiving core. Part of luring Smith to Phoenix would include showing him that the Cardinals are shopping around for receivers. There's no better year to pick up a free-agent WR than 2013 with Jennings, Welker, Amendola and Bowe available for the picking.

-Re-tool the O-line. It's not a secret that the Cardinals have had troubles protecting the run. If they could bring Smith in and sign a wide out from free-agency, it would leave their first round pick open to draft a big guy up front rather than using it on one of the QBs from this year's lousy draft class.

If the Cardinals can succeed in at least one of the above listed objectives, they will no doubt be a better team than last year. If you reflect on the 2009 Super Bowl Cardinals, you saw a young, talented receiving core led by Fitzgerald and Anquon Boldin. You also saw an O-line that had little trouble protecting Kurt Warner and opening holes for Edgerrin James. Now, if you look at today's Carindals team, they're not too far off. They have some tweaks and fixes to do for their defense, but their offensive game will be the focus this off-season. 

2013 Schedule-Difficulty: 8/10

Home: Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Falcons, Panthers, Texans, Colts, Lions

Away: Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Saints, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Titans, Eagles

Projected Record: 4-12 (4th in NFC West)