Free agent defections could leave the Arizona Cardinals’ roster looking a whole lot different when the 2019 season rolls around
The winds of change have been blowing through the Arizona Cardinals’ front office this offseason. A whole new coaching staff is taking over. Significant players have already been added, despite the fact that the free agent signing period is still weeks away.
But while new additions to the roster are arriving, some members of the squad who were already here may be preparing to leave. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his assistants are bringing fresh ideas to the desert. Current Cardinals who don’t appear to be compatible with the changes will be permitted to exit the nest.
Markus Golden, who’s scheduled to become a free agent, could very well be replaced with a draft pick. Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, who many experts believe will be the Cards’ first-round choice, would be the squad’s new starting outside linebacker if he’s selected. If that were to happen, Golden would more than likely look to latch on with a team who’d be willing to give him starting money.
News came down on Saturday that Arizona has voided the final year on Mike Iupati‘s contract. The 31-year old guard can now sign with any organization who wants him. Iupati was a solid performer for the Cardinals, but injuries cost him 21 games over the past two campaigns.
Safety Tre Boston‘s 2018 numbers with the club (79 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes defensed) were impressive. But the acquisition of D.J. Swearinger probably means that the 26-year old will not be given a new deal by the Cards. Boston could conceivably be offered a job by former head coach Steve Wilks, who’s been named the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.
J.J. Nelson tallied just seven receptions for 64 yards and zero scores last season. Nightmarish statistics for a pass-catcher looking to cash in on the open market. While wide receiver is a position of need for Arizona, there will be better candidates than Nelson searching for work this spring.
There are a couple of other prospective free agents who will most likely be on the Cardinals’ pay no mind list. Defensive end Benson Mayowa played well for the franchise in ’18, but may not be a fit for new coordinator Vance Joseph‘s 3-4 scheme. Fullback Derrick Coleman may have a place somewhere in the league, but it definitely isn’t with the Cards.
Roster shake-ups are a common part of the NFL these days. It’s something that Arizona is preparing to experience once again in 2019. As the old saying goes, out with the old, in with the new.