Possible salary-cap casualties for the Arizona Cardinals

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Those of you who are expecting the Arizona Cardinals to be heavy spenders this offseason should start preparing yourselves. Steve Keim, the club’s general manager, will more than likely be pinching pennies when free agency gets underway next month. The Cards, who were going to have limited funds to begin with, will be hurt even more by the fact that COVID-19 will cause the salary-cap number to drop in 2021.

Arizona could create additional space under the cap by parting ways with some of the overpaid members of their roster. There are several players who may not be worth the inflated salaries they’re scheduled to be paid by the team next fall. The following are a few Cardinals who could be in danger of being cut by the organization in the coming weeks.

The biggest name who could possibly be on the endangered list just happens to be the highest-paid performer on the squad. Chandler Jones, the star edge-rusher who was acquired back in 2016, could find himself on the chopping block. Could the Cards defensive unit survive without their number-one sack artist?

Jones is coming off of a campaign in which he recorded just one sack in the five games he dressed for in 2020. The 30-year old suffered a torn bicep muscle during a victory over the New York Jets that sidelined him for the remaining 11 matchups of last season. Arizona could save roughly $15.5 million against the cap by releasing Jones this offseason.

Another Cardinals starter who could be on shaky ground resides on the offensive line. Justin Pugh, the starter at left guard, is set to count $11.1 million against the this year’s salary cap. The Cards could gain $7.1 million in cap space in ’21 by moving on from the 30-year old Pugh.

Finding his way onto the list is another member of the Arizona defense. Cornerback Robert Alford, a free agent pickup from 2019, is set to take up $9 million of the franchise’s salary-cap room for the coming season. The Cardinals could recoup $7.5 million in cap space by saying goodbye to a defender who has yet to play a down for the squad since his arrival.

Devon Kennard, an outside linebacker who was signed last March, could also be handed his walking papers. The 29-year old contributed just 19 tackles and three sacks in 13 contests for the Cards last fall. Keim and company could save $4.1 million by cutting Kennard in ’21.

One last player who could become a part of the list is Maxx Williams, a tight end who came to the desert in 2019. The club could get back almost $3 million towards the salary cap by cutting ties with the 26-year old. Williams caught just eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in nine appearances (eight starts) for Arizona last fall.