With the Kansas City Chiefs heading back to the Super Bowl to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, some former Arizona Cardinals members will be making an appearance.
Ironically, each former player was drafted by the Cardinals in 2013, one round after the other.
Two of the most notable former Cardinals are actually coaches – Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles. Arians was the head coach calling the offense, while Bowles led the defense from 2013-15.
During that stretch, the Arizona Cardinals were top 10 in the league in points allowed and total yards allowed. They also led the league in run defense in 2013. Bowles would go on to become a head coach for the Jets from 2015-18, before rejoining Arians in Tampa.
For Arians, the Cardinals offense was one of the best in the league as well. Their best offensive season under Arians would come in 2015, as they ranked second in the league in points per game, which helped them make it to the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers before losing 49-15.
Here are three former Arizona Cardinals players who were with the team at some point in their careers:
Tyrann Mathieu – 2013-17
Mathieu was drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, where he became an instant standout for the team at the start of the season.
During his career in the desert, Mathieu finished with 308 tackles, 11 interceptions, and four sacks and forced fumbles. In 2015, he was named First-Team All Pro.
Alex Okafor – 2013-16
Okafor did not have as good of a stint as Mathieu did in Arizona during his time there. Taken one round after the Honey Badger, Okafor finished with 75 tackles and 13.5 sacks.
Before converting to defensive end in New Orleans and Kansas City, Okafor was primarily an outside linebacker for the Cardinals.
Kevin Minter – 2013-16
Minter was taken one round before Mathieu, and spent most of his time at inside linebacker. While he was not used much in the pass-rushing game, he finished with big numbers every season in the tackling category.
As a Cardinal, Minter finished with 223 tackles and five sacks, with his best season coming in 2015, starting in all 16 games and finishing with a career-high 94 tackles.