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Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort plans to spend in free agency but warns of 'dangers' of overpaying 

The Arizona Cardinals took their salary cap lumps in 2023 partly to offer freedom moving forward under general manager Monti Ossenfort and coach Johnathan Gannon as they start their rebuild.

The Cards currently sit with a projected $41.7 million in salary-cap space heading into the offseason, per Over The Cap. The GM noted Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 that he plans to use that cash to supplement his team building rather than the driver.

"We are definitely going to be active in free agency. What does that mean? I can't spell that out for you right now," Ossenfort said, via the team's official website. "I don't know what that means because we don't completely control that. There is a market and players we think are going to be available right now that two weeks from now are not going to be available. Free agency is full of unknowns in that respect, and there are dangers in free agency.

"The nature of free agency, you end up overpaying. That's how it works. It's full of mistakes. That's not to say there are not things you can fix there. We will take our chances and there will be times we will find ways to supplement our roster, but ultimately we are going to build this team, and what we are going to be moving forward, through the draft."

Ossenfort maneuvered last year's draft to set himself up with a trove of selections in 2024. The Cardinals own six selections in the first three rounds, including No. 4 and 21 overall. That is where Arizona plans to do most of its building this offseason.

With Kyler Murray entrenched at quarterback, the biggest piece of the puzzle is clarified. However, the Cards have holes throughout the roster. Wide receiver Marquise Brown is the team's biggest name free agent. If he leaves, the club has a big hole at the position. But there are other glaring needs, namely on the defensive line and offense line, that require bolstering.

"We have a lot of needs. We really do. That's a product of the NFL," Ossenfort said. "We have plenty of room for improvement.

"We're never going to turn down good players. Our list of needs is good players that fit us."

The balance Ossenfort and every general manager must navigate during free agency is finding players to fill holes without massive overspending that could cripple the cause down the road. With a host of draft picks at his disposal, the Cards' GM doesn't need to panic and overpay when the market opens, but adding a few veterans is essential if the rebuild is to kick into gear in Year 2.

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