Grading Cardinals in free agency: Sam Bradford the highlight of this class

The success of the Cardinals' free-agent class of 2018 will depend largely on if the key players -- most notably Sam Bradford -- can stay healthy. AP Photo/Matt York

A breakdown of the initial wave of free agency for the Arizona Cardinals:

Overall grade: B-minus. This grade was teetering on a C-plus but landed in the B range because of the upside of the class. If the major pieces -- quarterback Sam Bradford, and offensive linemen Andre Smith and Justin Pugh -- stay healthy, then the Cardinals signed three impact players. If they get hurt, this year's class might end up in the low C or D range.

Most significant signing: Bradford. The Cardinals entered free agency without a quarterback but quickly found their starter in Bradford, instantly making him their most significant signing. If Bradford stays healthy, he could lead Arizona back to the playoffs. His injury history doesn't suggest he can, though, making his signing a risk.

Most significant loss: Tyrann Mathieu. Releasing Tyrann Mathieu, making him an unrestricted free agent in the process, was far and away the most significant loss for the Cardinals this offseason. Not only was Mathieu an emotional heartbeat of the Cardinals' locker room, when healthy he was one of the best ball hawks in the NFL. His health was part of why the Cardinals released him: He was due too much guaranteed money for a player with two major knee injuries and who had finished three of five seasons on injured reserve.

Player they should have signed: E.J. Gaines. The veteran cornerback might have come at a price, but he would've given the Cardinals the stability they needed opposite Patrick Peterson. Gaines, instead, signed with the Cleveland Browns, keeping the Cardinals on the hunt for a corner. Gaines' health was an issue, but if he could've stayed healthy in Arizona, the Cardinals would've had one of the most formidable corner tandems in the NFL.

Additions: Sam Bradford, QB; Mike Glennon, QB; Justin Pugh, OL; Andre Smith, OL; Bene Benwikere, CB.

Substractions: Drew Stanton, QB; Matt Barkley, QB; John Brown, WR; Jaron Brown, WR; Kareem Martin, DT; Josh Mauro, DT; Justin Bethel, DB; Tramon Williams, DB; Tyrann Mathieu, S; Blaine Gabbert, QB.

What's next: The Cardinals have addressed most of their needs with the exception of wide receiver. That should be the position Arizona focuses on next after John Brown signed with Baltimore and Jaron Brown signed with Seattle.