Several Arizona Cardinals facing make or break years in 2021

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

Several members of the Arizona Cardinals roster could be reaching a crossroads of sorts in their NFL careers this coming fall.

The 2021 NFL campaign is going to be an extremely crucial one for a particular contingent of Arizona Cardinals.

Several members of the team are under pressure to perform at a high level, or they very well may have to admit that their best days as a professional football player are now behind them. It appears that the Cardinals front office is willing to give this group of individuals one last chance to succeed, but are promising them absolutely nothing beyond the upcoming season.

Ironically, Arizona may need to get ample production out of this select bunch of veterans to have a chance at getting to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

The chosen few that need to come through for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021

Back in March, the Cards front office added longtime Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green to the “Air Raid” offense. The club’s current depth chart lists the 32-year-old right behind superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins, but there are those who believe that Green is undeserving of that ranking.

Green hauled in 47 passes for 523 yards and just two touchdowns for the Bengals in 2020, statistics that hardly resemble a number-two wide receiver’s production. Rest assured, the Cardinals will be looking for much more than that out of Green this coming fall.

When “Big Red” signed former Atlanta Falcons corner Robert Alford back in 2019, the organization believed that they had finally solved a number-two cornerback dilemma that had lingered for years. Two campaigns have come and gone since then, and Alford has yet to appear in a regular-season contest for the Redbirds.

Two consecutive injuries sidelined the 32-year-old Alford for Arizona’s last 32 games. Keim and company are keeping their fingers crossed that the former second-round draft choice will give them something this coming season.

One of the Cards’ big-ticket acquisitions of the 2020 offseason was Jordan Phillips, a free agent who came over from the Buffalo Bills. The defensive tackle was a huge disappointment, contributing a measly 11 tackles and two sacks in the nine matchups he appeared in. Obviously, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph needs more than that out of Phillips in ’21.

There are two additional Cardinals worth mentioning in this piece. Andy Isabella needs to prove to the franchise that he can be the speedy pass-catcher they thought they were getting when they used the 2020 draft’s 62nd-overall selection on him. Maxx Williams, the squad’s starting tight end, needs to vastly improve on the eight receptions he tallied last season.

Having all of these players come through will greatly improve Arizona’s postseason hopes for the upcoming campaign. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.

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(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)