3 contracts holding the Arizona Cardinals back right now

The Cardinals do not have a lot of big contracts on their books, but Monti Ossenfort will need to get a close look at them this offseason.

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Dallas Cowboys v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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2.) James Conner - running back

Per Over The Cap, Conner is expected to make $8.9 million total in 2024 which is not the worst setup, but his ability to stay healthy on the field is always a concern for Conner. He has missed 6 games in the last two seasons, and has yet to play a full season in his career. Even though Conner is coming off one of his best seasons of his career, it’s the ability to be available that is a concern. While the Cardinals should not release Conner this offseason, they will need to bring in some extra help in the backfield of who can fill in if Conner does miss time again.

If the Cardinals wanted to create a great 1-2 punch at the running back position, pending free agent Tony Pollard would be a great fit to not only take pressure off of Conner, but also serve as a reliable option should Conner have to miss any time due to injury.

1.) Kyler Murray - quarterback

Anyone could have guessed that this would be the biggest contract for the Cardinals. After the 2021 season and a disastrous first round exit in the playoffs, the Cardinals gave Murray a five year deal worth $230.5 million. Then in the 2022 season, Murray would end up tearing his ACL and be forced to the second half of that season and miss the first half of the 2023 season. So not only did he miss a full season essentially after signing his new deal, but now there will always be a concern about his durability with his knee.

Going into 2024, Murray is expected to make $51.4 million per Over The Cap with a $37 million base salary. That is a lot of money going to a player who is coming back from a season-ending injury, but also finished strong last season to prove that he can still be the franchise quarterback for the Cardinals.

However, this will only work if Monti Ossenfort puts together an offensive line that can protect him and surround him with reliable weapons on the outside. Ossenfort needs to address these concerns in order to make their franchise guy succeed.