The Cardinals’ start to free agency Friday was 180 degrees different from the splash the team made in 2006, when it signed three players — including Edgerrin James — immediately.
In fact, the biggest news from Cards’ camp came from a soon-to-be-ex-Cardinal, as tackle Leonard Davis was in Dallas Friday and will make a trip to Washington today.
It is unlikely Davis will be a free agent for much longer. It’s even more unlikely he will return to Arizona.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals — as promised — are looking to upgrade their cornerback position, with Travis Fisher (Rams) scheduled to visit Sunday after going to Washington and Roderick Hood (Eagles) visiting Monday following a trip to Cleveland. The Giants also have an interest in Hood.
The Cardinals are woefully thin at cornerback and will lose David Macklin and Robert Tate as free agents. The team is looking for players to battle Eric Green for the starting role opposite Antrel Rolle.
Among the other players who are expected to visit this weekend: Buffalo tackle Mike Gandy, Dallas center Al Johnson and Cincinnati safety Kevin Kaesviharn.
Among players who could also be brought in: Detroit safety Terrence Holt and Cincinnati tight end Reggie Kelly.
One player who will not be coming to Arizona is fullback Ovie Mughelli, who signed with Atlanta Friday.
The fullback the Cardinals will be talking to is Houston restricted free agent Vonta Leach.
According to Leach’s agent, Ralph Vitolo, Leach arrived in the Valley Friday night. While Vitolo said Leach has drawn interest from other teams, the Cards were the first to call about the 6-foot, 250-pounder.
After getting the low tender from the Texans, Leach would cost the Cards nothing if they signed him, although Houston will have the right to match any offer.
After adjustments to their salary cap space to account for tender offers, contract incentives, etc., the Cardinals have a little more than $20 million of cap room available.
Davis could be off the market before the Cards even get a player in for a visit. The Cowboys would use Davis at either guard or tackle, depending on how the rest of free agency plays out. Dallas could lose right tackle Marc Columbo in free agency.
Davis has long wanted to play in Dallas, which is close to his hometown of Wortham, Texas.
The Redskins would use Davis to replace guard Derrick Dockery, a free agent who signed with Buffalo Friday. The Giants, who need a replacement for the released Luke Petitgout, have also expressed interest in Davis.
Davis has said he wouldn’t mind returning to Arizona, but Dallas, Washington and the Giants are all expected to offer better deals than what the Cards are willing to spend.
Davis’ agent, Ryan Tollner, said Friday night he hoped to have another conversation with the Cardinals to see if they were still interested in re-signing Davis.
EXTRA POINT: The Cardinals did not tender offers to three exclusive rights free agents, including tight end Adam Bergen. Also let go were guard Rolando Cantu and running back Roger Robinson.