Top 2 players who need to be back with the Arizona Cardinals in 2023
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals front office must make it a priority to bring both Byron Murphy and Zach Allen back to the nest in 2023.
Expectations were high when the Arizona Cardinals embarked on the 2022 NFL campaign back in September. Things have not gone well, however, and it may be time to start looking ahead to next year.
As usual, the Cards will have some very important names on their in-house free-agent list. The league’s salary cap is projected to go up, so general manager Steve Keim (if he is still there) will have even more of owner Michael Bidwill’s money to play with.
With that in mind, there are two prospective free agents on the Cardinals roster who absolutely need to be re-signed. A pair of up and coming defenders who could very well be on the cusp of superstardom.
Zach Allen and Byron Murphy should not be given a chance to take their talents elsewhere in 2023. Allowing either one of the pair to leave the Arizona desert would be a blatant mistake by Keim and his cohorts.
Arizona Cardinals must retain Zach Allen and Byron Murphy in 2023
Allen has been excellent over the past few months in his fourth year with the Cardinals. Playing next to the great J.J Watt has certainly done wonders for the budding defensive lineman. In his 12 starts, the 25-year-old Allen has registered 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and an eye-popping seven passes defensed for coordinator Vance Joseph’s defense.
Murphy has been outstanding in ’22 as well, though the cornerback has missed the last three matchups with an injured back. Before he was sidelined, the 24-year-old showed the Cards he has what it takes to be a number-one cover guy. In nine starts, Murphy was credited with 36 tackles, four pass breakups and a game-winning fumble-return for a touchdown during an overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2.
Arizona’s disappointing performance this fall indicates that Keim (again, if he stays) will have his work cut out for him in the offseason. Retaining Allen and Murphy are just two of the many tasks that lie ahead for the Cardinals GM.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)
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