4 highest paid Cardinals heading into 2024 season

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders
Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

One of the big advantages for a team that is in a rebuild is that the payroll is not as high as compared to other teams in the league. The Arizona Cardinals have one of the lowest payrolls in the NFL. Outside of Kyler Murray, the Cardinals are not paying a lot of money to the rest of their semester. Monti Ossenfort has cleaned up the roster and has slowly put together a young roster that has the opportunity to make the Cardinals competitive again. 

There are players that are underpaid and players that are overpaid. When it comes to the quarterback position, the market goes up every year to the point where players like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are severely underpaid based on what they can do on the field.

The Cardinals have a payroll where there are only two players that have over $10 million in a base salary. Using overthecap.com, we look at the Cardinals four highest paid players heading into the 2024 season.

QB Kyler Murray

2024 base salary: $37 million

2024 cap hit: $49.1 million

It is no surprise that the quarterback is the most expensive player on the team. They have the toughest job on the field and receive the most pressure out of every player on the field. Kyler Murray received his five-year contract extension going into the 2022 season after taking the Cardinals to the playoffs. Clearly, he has not lived up to it but the Cardinals are backing him up this year and next year in terms of the financial factor. Murray is no longer a top five quarterback regarding his pay, but he needs to show Arizona that he can elevate the Cardinals to the next level. 

Since receiving his contract, he played badly in 2022 before tearing his ACL and then he only played in eight games last year but showed flashes of what he can be with a full offseason.

S Budda Baker

2024 base salary: $14.2 million

2024 cap hit: $19 million

Budda Baker has been one of the best, if not the best Cardinals player that Arizona has had. When he was drafted in 2017 in the second round, Baker made an immediate impact and became an All-Pro player for the Cardinals. He has made the Pro Bowl in all but one year of his career and earned All-Pro honors twice. With the way the Cardinals have performed the last two years, Baker has been a player that no one outside Arizona is talking about.

He is still in his prime and is heading into a contract year. Baker has been worth every dollar he has earned. Cardinals fans should expect a big year from Baker as this could be his final season in the desert.

S Jalen Thompson

2024 base salary: $8.3 million

2024 cap hit: $12.46 million

The safety duo of Baker and Thompson has been one of the more underrated safety duos in recent memory. Thompson signed a three-year deal with the Cardinals going into last season so he will be a Cardinal for the foreseeable future. With an $8.3 million base salary this year, Thompson has the best number possible that is not an overpay or an underpay. The contract is reasonable and there is no sign of Thompson slowing down to put the Cardinals in a predicament.

RB James Conner

2024 base salary: $4.23 million

2024 cap hit: $8.93 million

The Cardinals were one of the league’s top rushing teams in 2023 and part of the reason why was because of James Conner. Earning a three-year contract extension going into the 2022 season, Conner was a key piece for the Arizona offense moving forward. For the first time in his career, Conner rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and his production should not change a lot heading into this season. The one factor to consider is that this could be Conner’s last season with the Cardinals, as rookie running back Trey Benson was drafted to Arizona this offseason.

Conner is underpaid seeing as how he performed last year. The Cardinals are going to need to make sure that Conner is at his best once again, especially with the fact that the Cardinals might do a business move and not re-sign Conner who will be 30 years old by next season.