5 pending free agents the Arizona Cardinals need to stay away from in free agency

Monti Ossenfort needs to explore other players in free agency than these 5 players.

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1.) Austin Ekeler

Despite being one of, if not the best running back in 2021 and 2022, Austin Ekeler has never reached 1,000 rushing yards in his career. However, he always found himself in the endzone (20 touchdowns in 2021 and 18 touchdowns in 2022). That was not the case this past season in Los Angeles. Ekeler missed 3 of the first 4 games of the season due to a hamstring injury and was never able to find his stride when he came back. After his Week 1 performance against the Miami Dolphins (164 total yards and a score), Ekeler never reached 70 rushing yards in a game the rest of the year. As far as the receiving game, Ekeler had just one game over 50 receiving yards.

Spotrac has Ekeler’s value at $7.4 million and while the Cardinals could afford that kind of contract, there are better ways that Ossenfort can spend money in free agency. Current Cardinals’ running back James Conner is coming off a fantastic year despite not playing a full season. If the Cardinals decided to bring in another veteran back, it would be smart to sign someone who can help form a 1-2 punch in the backfield, someone like Tony Pollard. Ekeler has been a starter for quite some time and it would be hard to imagine a working running back combo of Ekeler and Conner.

In addition, the Cardinals have the most draft picks out of every team in the league. Using one of those picks on a running back who could take over the starting role in 2025 would be the better route.