The Arizona Cardinals are just a couple of players away from securing a Vince Lombardi Trophy for the “Valley of the Sun”
The new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals said it best. Upon being handed the first NFL head-coaching job of his career, Steve Wilks perfectly described the current situation in the desert. It would be a “retool”, not a “rebuild” according to the Cards’ latest leader, and a Super Bowl title may not be far away.
Despite the absence of a bevy of key contributors last season, Arizona still managed to win half of their games. Major talents like David Johnson and Markus Golden spent most of 2017 watching from the sidelines. The foundation for a championship is in place, it’s now up to general manager Steve Keim to add the final pieces to the puzzle.
Of course, when one of the pieces you are seeking is a quarterback, that’s not necessarily an easy assignment. There is a difference-maker, however, that potentially will be available on the free agent market. A passer that, as stated by Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson, could put the Cardinals “over the top”.
It’s going to be hard getting Kirk Cousins to come to the “Valley of the Sun”. The soon-to-be former Washington Redskin will be one of the most sought-after free agents in recent history. The competition will be fierce for the 2012 fourth-round draft pick.
If the Cards truly want to win a Vince Lombardi Trophy, they must pull out all the stops to land Cousins. The Michigan State product has put up outstanding numbers in the nation’s capital, despite not being surrounded by the most talented teammates. Recent comments by Cousins indicate that he wants to win, a criteria that hopefully puts Arizona in the running for his services.
The Cardinals’ defense finished up 2017 as one of the league’s best. The previously-mentioned Johnson is arguably the finest all-around running back in the National Football League. Those two factors alone should make coming to the desert an attractive option.
Granted, the offensive line once again needs help. A signal-caller needs to know he’s going to be protected. Keim will have to convince Cousins that the problem will be addressed when he makes his sales pitch to the 29-year old.
Salary-cap permitting, there is a free agent offensive lineman that would look superb in a Cards’ uniform. The new coaching staff is certainly familiar with Carolina Panthers’ left guard Andrew Norwell. The 26-year old has started 54 contests as a professional, and is considered the best available lineman of the offseason.
Arizona is just a couple of significant moves away from making their championship dream a reality. “Retool” is a popular word among team executives these days. The future is now for the Cardinals.