Arizona has a win-now identity for 2021
Yes, some of us were critical of the Cardinals’ major free-agent signings this offseason. Many of them seem to be veterans with at least 10 years of experience, or they are at least 30-years-old.
It’s true that J.J. Watt, Malcolm Butler, Matt Prater, A.J. Green, and others are not expected to stay with Arizona for long. We can give Rodney Hudson the highest benefit of the doubt, considering he’s still playing at a Pro Bowl level, and he remains among the league’s top centers.
What is this identity for 2021? An older team that realizes they only have a few cracks at winning the Cardinals their first-ever Super Bowl trophy and first league championship since 1947, which is currently the longest drought in the NFL.
Besides the sense of urgency among the team’s veterans, it also exists with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and general manager Steve Keim.
Ownership will probably show Kingsbury and Keim the door if the Cardinals collapse down the stretch next season like they did in 2020. That, in turn, puts pressure on Murray, who will have led the team short of the postseason in each of his first three years.
Given their age and the hot seats their coach and general manager find themselves on, Arizona faces a sense of urgency higher than most of the NFL’s other 31 franchises. That urgency may just be enough to push them over the top by winning the NFC West, and perhaps more.
Coupled with the urgency, the Cardinals boast a better roster than what they’re given credit for, beginning with the fact that they have star-studded players on both sides of the ball.