Steve Keim: Cardinals won’t be “drastically limited” in free agency after J.J. Watt signing

Steve Keim: Cardinals won’t be “drastically limited” in free agency after J.J. Watt signing

Michael Bidwill said signing J.J. Watt already has “raised the energy” around the team, and the Cardinals owner called the addition of the defensive end a “culture changer.” It remains to be seen whether Watt’s presence will entice more free agents to join the Cardinals.

But General Manager Steve Keim said Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the Cardinals to be finished in free agency.

“I don’t think we’re drastically limited,” Keim said after Watt signed a two-year deal 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 have done a number of other things financially,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the team website. “That’s some of the benefits you have . . . about having a rookie quarterback on his first contract. We have a window in time where we can do some different things and be flexible.

“At the same time, we have to be smart with it and we have to look at the future moving forward and look at the next three years. I always take a different view than a lot of people do.”

The Cardinals have 28 free agents, including cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebacker Haason Reddick and running back Kenyan Drake. Some will return; some won’t.

“Just doing the cost of business and the way things work, some of those players will be able to return,” Keim added. “It depends on what the market is going to present.”

doctorsavitsky