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Last season

New faces: Traded for QB Carson Palmer; signed DE John Abraham, RB Rashard Mendenhall, LB Karlos Dansby, DE Frostee Rucker, CB Antoine Cason, DE Matt Shaughnessy.

Key losses: LB Brian Schofield, RB Beanie Wells, S Kerry Rhodes, QBs Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, G Adam Snyder.

Strengths: The defensive front could be very good. DT Darnell Dockett returns after a solid season, and Calais Campbell and Dan Williams are solid pieces around him. The linebackers got better with the addition of Dansby. Arizona’s defense, which finished in the middle of the pack last year, should be tough.

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Weaknesses: Will the offense be explosive enough to help out? Palmer should instantly make the Cardinals better, and Mendenhall should be an upgrade at RB. But the Cardinals’ offense still has plenty of question marks.

Expectations: The Cardinals should be better this year, but the question is how much better? Someone in the NFC West, generally considered the best division, will have to lose.

Quarterback: Arizona had a traveling circus at quarterback last year, with Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Lindley seeing action. Palmer gives instant stability to the position, even if he isn’t playing like he did in his peak years.

Jayson Jenks

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