With the 2022 Arizona Cardinals mathematically falling out of playoff contention, it’s time to compile a list of what the team must do moving forward.
The Arizona Cardinals have become one of the NFL’s much-maligned franchises once more. And it looks like major changes are coming to the organization given the uncertainty behind quarterback Kyler Murray’s ultimate return, Kliff Kingsbury’s job status, and Steve Keim’s future given health-related issues.
Therefore, with the Redbirds in such a flux, perhaps major changes wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Perhaps this star-crossed season could be a major opportunity. How should the Cardinals go about taking advantage of such a potential blessing in disguise? Here are five things I’d like to see them do for 2023.
1 – Hire a capable head coach
We know head coach Kliff Kingsbury can’t cut it. The guy has never been successful during the second half of a single season he has coached, and his 8-16 record since October 2021 speaks dividends.
For the Arizona Cardinals to turn things around, they need a coach with ample experience. Someone like Sean Payton or Jim Harbaugh would be the best bets. But even Frank Reich would pay dividends.
2 – A starting-caliber quarterback
No, this isn’t a knock on Kyler Murray. But given a late-season ACL tear, it is likely he won’t be ready for Week 1. That said, the Arizona Cardinals need to sign a starting-caliber quarterback who can carry this team until Murray is ready to return.
There could also be a scenario where Murray misses the entire 2023 season because of the injury. The Cardinals must prepare for the worst, and that means bringing in a quarterback who can win games with this team.
3 – A solid draft that addresses need
General manager Steve Keim hasn’t spent early-round picks on need in quite some time. There is, however, a chance he will not be the one with the final say in April 2023 given his recent leave from the team.
Regardless of who picks the players, they need to focus on improving the team’s woes at edge rusher, and to beef up the corner position. Going for linemen in the early to mid rounds also won’t hurt.
4 – New uniforms
This is often a two-year process, so when I say new uniforms, I’m really looking for the Arizona Cardinals to announce that they are getting new threads. I’m not shy about my love for the black jerseys and helmets, but a return to the state flag look would also be a major step in the right direction.
With cardinal red and white, the Redbirds already boast one of the league’s best and most iconic color schemes. Yet another reason I was attracted to this team as opposed to one of the other 31 franchises. Anyway, regardless of whether they go classic with the state flag look, or if they go radical with far more black, anything is better than what they currently have.
5 – Trade DeAndre Hopkins
Hear me out on this one: DeAndre Hopkins will be 31 and he is not getting any younger. That said, the Arizona Cardinals would be wise to trade the longtime NFL star while his value is still high.
Two years ago, I said they needed to do this with Chandler Jones and keep Haason Reddick. Something they should have done in hindsight. In short, I am a huge proponent for trading stars once they hit the age 31 mark, as they are still playing well enough to bring in a ransom. As it stands, the Cardinals could theoretically squeeze two first-round picks for the star receiver.
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