Arizona Cardinals Are Not Doing Enough This Off-Season

After a complete collapse to end the 2021 season, the Arizona Cardinals were expected to re-tool the roster in an effort to compete in the NFC West with the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Instead, the Cardinals have dragged their feet thus far in the new league year, and have done absolutely nothing to improve. Their complete lack of urgency has left fans and analysts alike wondering why the Arizona Cardinals are not doing more this off-season.

Arizona Cardinals Should Be Making More Moves This Off-Season

Collapse in 2021

The 2021 season started off promising enough for Arizona. They started out by winning their first seven games. Quarterback Kyler Murray was playing like an MVP candidate. All doubts around head coach Kliff Kingsbury were suddenly disappearing.

However, for the second straight season, the team suffered a late-year collapse and lost four of their last five games. The year ended with a beat down in the first round of the playoffs, a 34-11 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams.

Free Agency and Salary Cap Space

Most teams in Arizona’s shoes would focus on being aggressive in free agency and attempt to retain important players and solidify the roster with talent. The Cardinals only have $11 million in salary-cap space with which to work this off-season. However, many teams, like the New Orleans Saints, have created cap space by restructuring deals this off-season.

Instead of doing any of this, they have cut Jordan Philips and Jordan Hicks, two solid contributors on defense. They have re-signed a few players, including James Conner, Zach Ertz, and Maxx Williams, but they have only brought in one new player in Jeff Gladney. The former Minnesota Vikings cornerback was a first-round pick but has been anything but impressive since entering the league in 2020. Gladney was found not guilty of multiple felony domestic assault charges, but he has not shown anything on the field that would warrant a team willing to deal with his off-the-field issues.

The team has lost multiple contributors from last season in free agency so far. In addition to the aforementioned players, they have also lost Christian Kirk, Chase Edmonds, A.J. Green, Robert Alford, Malcolm Butler, and two-time All-Pro Chandler Jones.

Roster

General manager Steve Keim has not made much of an effort to go after big-name free agents in the new league year. After receiving a contract extension this off-season, one would have expected him to be more active. But Keim has taken a passive approach to free agency and that is hurting this team.

The team needs to add some pieces on defense, especially on the backside to help Byron Murphy and Budda Baker. The front seven has talent, but the lack of a true edge rusher will hurt. J.J. Watt is in the twilight of his career, so the Cardinals need to add at least one edge rusher.

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On the offensive side, they have pieces to build around. Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins are top guys at their positions. Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams are a good one-two punch at tight end. James Conner was able to revitalize his career in Arizona. The issue is that the Cardinals are missing a good number two receiver. Also, the offensive line took a big step back last year, despite the addition of Rodney Hudson.

The free-agent class this off-season was as talented as they come. Keim’s decision to stand pat and remain largely inactive is a head-scratcher. Windows to truly compete in the NFL rarely stay open for long, and can slam shut at any moment. If Arizona doesn’t act soon to take advantage of having one of the league’s best quarerbacks under center, they can kiss their Super Bowl chances goodbye.

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