With Jonathan Gannon heading up the Arizona Cardinals, chances are, he and general manager Monti Ossenfort will look hard at some familiar players.
Now that the Arizona Cardinals hired Jonathan Gannon, they can focus on offseason and roster transactions. Don’t expect the Redbirds to go crazy in free agency during this rebuild, but you can likely expect one prize free agent, plus a few necessities.
Since Gannon previously came from the NFC East, this is one division that you need to pay attention to. He is familiar with the East, so don’t be surprised if he picks a few players with expiring contracts from both his former team and their division rivals. Here are four possible players who are good fits to join the Redbirds.
1 – Javon Hargrave, DT/Philadelphia Eagles
While conventional wisdom states the Cardinals need to get younger and a 30-year-old like Javon Hargrave would be counterintuitive to their plans, he would also work wonders for Arizona. He has experience in Gannon’s system, and he still has a few seasons left in his prime, judging from his statistics the previous season that includes 11.0 sacks, 60 combined tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles for loss.
Hargrave will come at a steep price, but signing him shouldn’t deter the Cards from picking up Georgia’s Jalen Carter if he’s there with the third overall pick. In fact, Hargrave could even mentor someone like Carter if he signs, and the Redbirds wind up taking one of the 2023 NFL Draft’s best players.
2 – Noah Brown, WR/Dallas Cowboys
It’s likely the Arizona Cardinals trade DeAndre Hopkins, and Noah Brown is a big target who could immediately replace the 30-year-old. While the Cowboys product is by no means as productive as Hopkins, his 43 receptions on 74 targets, 555 yards, and 3 touchdowns are all career highs.
Brown will be 27 when the season begins, and he could be on the verge of a breakout season. He would also join a receiving unit that already includes the productive Marquise Brown and if he returns, Greg Dortch.
3 – Jamie Gillan, P/New York Giants
Punters win football games, as odd as that sounds to some fans. And Jamie Gillan has shown time and again that he is one of the better punters in football. He hit a career high in yards per punt at 46.8, and landed 26 of his 74 punts inside the 20, or 35.1% of his punts total.
With Andy Lee likely leaving this season along with the rest of the Cardinals special teams unit, Gillan may also find himself holding for a new kicker in town if Arizona signs him away from the Giants.
4 – Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders
And finally, we got Taylor Heinicke, one of the more high-end backups who could substitute for Kyler Murray early in the year. The Arizona Cardinals quarterback is likely to miss some regular season time with a torn ACL, and Heinicke has proven that he can play serviceable football (and win games) for an extended period.
No, don’t expect Heinicke to hold the Cards fort down all season. But given his ability to do more than just manage the game, he has proven to be one of the more productive quarterbacks in this league.
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