Cardinals made all the right moves during the 2021 offseason

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) A.J. Green
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) A.J. Green /

The offseason acquisitions made by general manager Steve Keim have paid off handsomely thus far for the Arizona Cardinals.

All throughout the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals turned heads with some impressive acquisitions. Through the first four weeks of the 2021 campaign, those additions have lived up to the hype by performing at an incredibly high level on the playing field.

Arizona has made a statement to the rest of the NFL by remaining undefeated through the first month of the season. The contributions made by the organization’s newest players have been especially noticeable. Combine that with a pretty talented group of Redbirds that was already in place, and you could very well have the makings of a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

The man who’s most responsible for what’s happening right now in the desert is Steve Keim, the club’s ninth-year general manager. The 49-year-old executive appears to have pushed all of the right buttons in an attempt to deliver a Vince Lombardi Trophy to the championship-hungry Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals getting the most out of their offseason investments

Back in March, Keim orchestrated a trade that added Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to the Cards’ offensive line. The 32-year-old has upgraded the blocking unit with both his outstanding play and his tremendous leadership. The difference between Hudson and last season’s centers (Mason Cole and Lamont Gaillard) is beyond measure.

Superstar defensive end J.J. Watt sent shockwaves through the professional football world when he signed with Arizona this past spring. While the 32-year-old has yet to light up the stat sheet (just seven tackles and zero sacks in four starts), Watt’s positive influence on the defense is hard to deny. The $28 million that the Cardinals will pay the five-time Pro Bowler over the next two years will undoubtedly be money well spent.

Many of the league’s so-called “experts” felt that the Cards made a mistake when they handed A.J. Green $6 million in guaranteed money back in March. Many believed that the 33-year-old wide receiver had lost his speed and was well past his prime. Well, any of Green’s detractors who have watched him perform during the past couple of weeks may have to admit that the acquisition was a flat-out steal.

Speaking of steals, Arizona may have pulled off another one when they selected Marco Wilson during the fourth round of this year’s draft. The 6-foot, 187-pound cornerback has been an outstanding addition to coordinator Vance Joseph’s overachieving secondary. Wilson’s fine performance has made fans forget about the sudden retirement of top cover guy Malcolm Butler back in August.

Two more performers have been just as valuable to head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s number-one ranked offense. James Conner has brought a badly-needed toughness to the Cardinals’ rushing attack. Rookie wideout Rondale Moore is a speedy new toy who can be utilized in several different ways.

If it’s special teams you like, 37-year-old Matt Prater has been a lethal weapon at the placekicking position. The 15th-year pro has ridiculous range on field-goal attempts, as evidenced by the 62-yarder he converted against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2.

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Kudos to the Cards front office for what is shaping up to be one of the best offseasons in franchise history. If the team’s success continues, Keim may very well be looking at the third NFL Executive of the Year award of his young career.