What appeared to be a major strength of the Arizona Cardinals in 2022 could be a completely unsettled position next season.
The Arizona Cardinals entered this disastrous season with a whole lot of question marks . A lackadaisical approach to the 2022 offseason by general manager Steve Keim left the Cards devoid of talent in several areas of the roster.
One particular spot that looked like an absolute strength of the Cardinals heading into the current campaign was the wide receiver position. Even with the suspension that would keep superstar DeAndre Hopkins out of Arizona’s first six matchups, the squad seemed more than capable of overcoming that obstacle.
A trade on the opening night of the ’22 NFL Draft brought Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the desert. Second-year player Rondale Moore was gearing up to improve on what turned out to a disappointing rookie performance. Veteran A.J. Green was retained after a bounceback campaign for the Redbirds in 2021 that included 54 receptions, 848 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, with the Cards’ season ready to conclude, all of that optimism has been put on hold. The club could be headed for some drastic changes this coming year, and the squad’s wideout room could potentially look much different in 2023.
Arizona Cardinals receiving corps is filled with uncertainty heading into 2023
The 30-year-old Hopkins, for one, is set to count $30.75 million against next season’s salary cap. Could the Cardinals entertain the thought of trading the five-time Pro Bowler, and ridding themselves of Hopkins’ exorbitant contract?
Brown has been brilliant at times for Arizona this fall, but there’s talk that the 25-year-old may want to be the recipient of a lucrative extension next offseason. Will his arrest for speeding back in August, not to mention the fact that he was late for a team meeting just last week, dissuade the front office from handing Brown the huge money he’ll be seeking?
Moore certainly has above-average speed and quickness, but the injury woes that hampered him at Purdue University have followed him into the pros. Anyone who has witnessed Green loafing around the playing field this year would almost certainly conclude that the 34-year-old should already be retired. Keim gave up a pair of late-round draft selections for Robbie Anderson back in October, but the former Carolina Panthers starter has contributed very little to the Cards offense.
If you can get past all of that uncertainty, there is one ray of sunshine among Arizona’s receiving corps. Whenever he’s been given an opportunity, the unheralded Greg Dortch has come through for the “Air Raid” attack in spades. It would be an outright crime if the 24-year-old isn’t a significant part of the team’s passing game going forward.
Things need to change with the Arizona Cardinals franchise, and very few jobs appear to be safe. Don’t be surprised if quarterback Kyler Murray is throwing to a whole new contingent of pass-catchers next season.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference and Salary information provided by Spotrac)
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