Arizona Cardinals were doomed during the club’s uneventful offseason
By Jim Koch
While many NFL clubs succeeded in improving their rosters during the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals made very few changes.
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals were sold a bill of goods during the offseason. Even the most-successful NFL teams are looking to improve on a yearly basis, but general manager Steve Keim mistakenly believed that this year’s collection of Cardinals was a playoff contender.
Any thought of a second-consecutive postseason appearance was flushed down the drain on Monday night following Arizona’s embarrassing 38-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s squad kept it competitive in the first half, but it became increasingly apparent in the final two quarters that the 49ers are just way more talented.
You can blame Keim and his cohorts for the less-than-stellar product that’s been taking the field this season. There were plenty of moves that could’ve been made earlier this year that would’ve improved the roster. Instead, Keim elected to remain mostly in-house with his allocation of funds in 2022.
In all fairness, the Redbirds have been ravaged by injuries this fall. Unfortunately for Keim, it’s difficult to use that as an excuse when many organizations are dealing with the same issue. Every day, hordes of players from around the league are being placed on the injured-reserve list, so the Cardinals are not alone.
The Arizona Cardinals made mostly uninspiring additions to the roster
The limited number of acquisitions that Arizona’s personnel department did make in ’22 raised some eyebrows. Sure, superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was facing a six-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs. Even so, was it necessary for Keim to trade a first-round draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown?
What the Cards did with their second-round selection was also peculiar. What was the point in drafting tight end Trey McBride when you had just signed veteran Zach Ertz to a three-year contract extension?
The free-agent Cardinals that Keim chose to keep in the nest were nothing to get excited about. A day after Ertz re-upped with the franchise, running back James Conner was also handed a new three-year deal. Other returning veterans included Colt McCoy, A.J. Green, Dennis Gardeck, Antonio Hamilton, Andy Lee, Maxx Williams, Ezekiel Turner, Charles Washington and Aaron Brewer.
Arizona’s free-agent acquisitions from the outside were also far from headline-grabbers. That mediocre group of additions included Will Hernandez, Darrel Williams, Ben Niemann, Stephen Anderson, and Nick Vigil.
Besides the trade for Brown back in April, Keim also went out and acquired wideout Robbie Anderson from the Carolina Panthers last month. The deal for the 29-year-old pass-catcher has been a flat-out disaster. In his five games with “Big Red”, Anderson has caught one measly pass for a laughable -4 yards.
The Cards also orchestrated two more uninspiring trades back in August. Offensive lineman Cody Ford was acquired from the Buffalo Bills for a fifth-round draft choice. Cornerback Trayvon Mullen came to the Cardinals from the Las Vegas Raiders for a late-round pick.
In the end, the Arizona front office’s work during the offseason just wasn’t up to par. Taking that into consideration, it’s really not surprising that the organization is headed for yet another losing campaign.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)
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