Cardinals' O-line upgrade begins with Snyder

BY foxsports • March 14, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals' first plunge into the free agent market was to fortify its offensive line, signing former San Francisco 49ers guard/tackle Adam Snyder to a five-year contract.

Snyder (6-6, 325) has spent all seven of his NFL seasons with the 49ers, splitting his time between guard and tackle. He started 13 games last season at right guard. Snyder, 30, was a third-round draft choice of the 49ers in 2005 out of Oregon.Offensive guard Jake Scott has made the Arizona Cardinals the first team to visit as a free agent.

The Cardinals also met with former Titans and Colts guard Adam Scott and former Bills tackle Demetrius Bell at the team's training facility while waiting for quarterback Peyton Manning to decide on his destination.

Scott, 6-foot-5 and 292 pounds, was a teammate of Manning's on Indianapolis' Super Bowl championship team in the 2006 season. He started the past four seasons for the Tennessee Titans.

The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Bell started 30 games for the Buffalo Bills over the past three seasons. He started all 16 games for Buffalo in 2010 but was limited to seven games in 2011 because of knee and ankle injuries.

Tackle is the obvious biggest need for Arizona after the Cardinals released Levi Brown, the starter on the left side, in a salary cap move. Last season's starting right tackle, Brandon Keith, is a free agent.

Scott's agent, Ken Staninger, said the Cardinals "called right out of the gate" about his client.

"He's a good fit for what they're reportedly looking for," Staninger said.

The agent said that Scott's history with Manning was "somewhat of a factor."

The Cardinals are in something of a holding pattern as they wait for Manning to make his decision. The superstar quarterback was visiting the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday.

Manning spent nearly 6 1/2 hours at the Cardinals' facility on Sunday. The team is hoping the presence of standout receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the quarterback's friendship with coach Ken Whisenhunt, among other factors, will lure Manning to the desert. The team has a state-of-the-art stadium with a retractable roof and natural grass field as well as warm winter weather.

But a concern could be the offensive line, which was inconsistent in its performances last season. Arizona did go 7-2 after a 1-6 start to wind up 8-8 for the season, thanks in large part to a vastly improved defense.

Manning also visited the Denver Broncos and spent time with the Miami Dolphins' representatives in a meeting in Indianapolis.

The Cardinals need a decision by Manning this week because the team will have to pay quarterback Kevin Kolb $7 million if he is on the roster on Saturday. Arizona released Brown, the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft, because his contract would have counted nearly $17 million on the team's salary cap for the coming season.