When reading the numerous accounts of the Arizona Cardinals’ offseason, a redundant point mentioned is that they are a entirely different team than they were in 2012. Many experts and opinion writers like myself agree that the change is for the better and dramatic to the same the effect.
Rating the top three acquisitions this offseason, I must start with an honorable mention of GM Steve Keim who orchestrated this make over.
At number three I have the recently popular Rashard Mendenhall, who was acquired in March to replace Chris “Beanie” Wells and ensure depth at the vital running back position. Although the Cardinals won a mini-lottery when Stephan Taylor and Andre Ellington fell to them in this year’s draft, Mendenhall is a young and proven veteran who has rare skills.
The second-best acquisition in my opinion was the Carson Palmer trade executed in April. Arguably the most important position in football, Palmer is a veteran quarterback who has found a system in Arizona that will re-illuminate the skills he possesses. Simply stated, he knows how and why to get rid of the ball quickly which makes him a drastic upgrade to the position.
The Arizona Cardinals’ best acquisition this offseason has to be coach Bruce Arians. Acquired in January after being the foremost reason for the Indianapolis Colts playoff run. Along with the play of Andrew Luck and inspiration of Coach Chuck Pagano, a modest Arians gave Luck a system to flourish in and made sure the team didn’t take Coach Pagano’s absence lightly.
Not long after winning Coach of The Year, Arians was one of the top candidates for all teams in the hunt for a new leader. Thanks to the patience of Keim, the Cardinals inked the Coach of The Year.
Notable mentions include Antoine Cason, who is in a battle with Jerraud Powers to start alongside Patrick Peterson at cornerback. His productivity is undeniable and will be seen when teams throw away from Patrick Peterson. Tyrann Matheiu is most noted for character issues, but I think he will erase the negative image with energetic performance on the field.
Jonathan Cooper also deserves to be mentioned for his potential injection of talent to the lame offensive line. Stepfan Taylor for the likelihood of being our feature back in the future. Lastly, Karlos Dansby for his timely return to patch the Daryl Washington hole with equal productivity.