Next year’s free agent list will present a whole new set of decisions for the personnel evaluators of the Arizona Cardinals
Logic would say that it’s way too early to start thinking about the Arizona Cardinals’ 2020 free agent group. After all, the club’s 2019 roster has not even been decided yet. You can be sure, however, that the Cards’ front office is already aware of who’s contracts will be expiring at the end of this season.
The biggest name on the list, once again, is none other than the great Larry Fitzgerald. Based on recent performances, it appears that the future Hall of Fame wide receiver could likely play for another two or three years. But for now, it appears that Fitzgerald’s future in the NFL will be decided on a year to year basis.
Left tackle D.J. Humphries is another Cardinal who’s contract will be up at the end of the upcoming campaign. The organization’s top draft pick in 2015 will need to prove to management this fall that he’s deserving of a new deal. Mediocre play and an assortment of injuries have prevented Humphries from living up to his first-round selection status.
Another first-round choice, Robert Nkemdiche, will also be looking for a new contract in ’20. Arizona has already declined a fifth-year team option on the defensive tackle, who’s been even more disappointing than Humphries. In fact, there’s a strong possibility that Nkemdiche could struggle to make it onto this year’s roster after his arrest for a DUI earlier this month.
Cards’ general manager Steve Keim made a nifty move last Christmas, when he snatched D.J. Swearinger off of the waiver wire. The move will pay dividends this season, when the safety assumes a starting role in the squad’s secondary. Solid play is expected from the 27-year old, so a new deal for Swearinger could be coming his way sometime in the future.
Several others who’ve been with the Cardinals for quite some time will also need to be evaluated next offseason. Center A.Q. Shipley and defensive tackle Rodney Gunter have been productive for the franchise in the past, but their days in the desert may be numbered. Running back D.J. Foster and cornerback Brandon Williams, like the previously mentioned Nkemdiche, may not be around to play out the final year of their contracts with the club this coming fall.
Others who are on one-year contracts with Arizona have yet to play a down for the Redbirds. That crew includes Charles Clay, Brett Hundley, Maxx Williams, Pharoh Cooper, Kevin White and Max Garcia on offense. Brooks Reed and Josh Shaw are two defenders that are signed to one-year deals.
The 2020 free agent signing period is still quite a few months away. Much can happen between now and then. But for Keim and the Cards, planning ahead may not be a bad thing to do.