5 players who need to step up in 2024 for Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have momentum heading into 2024, but will need these five players will need to step up for a successful season in Arizona.
Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders
Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages
4 of 5

3.) Zaven Collins

The 2021 first round pick for the Cardinals is heading into the final year of his contract after the front office opted to decline his fifth-year option. A contract year is a perfect setup for not only to get Collins paid next offseason, but it gets the best possible production for the Cardinals out of Collins. There is a chance that Collins does come back to the Cardinals depending on how the season plays out, but Arizona saves over $13 million with putting Collins in a contract year situation.

Collins adjusted well in Jonathan Gannon’s defense last season but he declined in production compared to 2022. If he wants to get a good size payday next offseason, Collins needs to step up big time for Arizona next season.

2.) James Conner

Much like Collins, running back James Conner is heading into a contract year coming off his best season of his career. Conner rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season in only 13 games. He is also coming off back-to-back seven rushing touchdown seasons. At 29 years old, Conner is looking to help turn the Cardinals around as this could be his last year in Arizona.

The Cardinals drafted Conner’s possible replacement in Trey Benson who will have the chance to learn behind Conner. In addition, the Cardinals also improved their offensive line this offseason which should not only keep Conner upright, but also help him get into the open field against second and third level defenders. The Cardinals have a great leader in Conner, who has been viewed as having solid leadership since his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This match could be coming to an end after the 2024 season, so Conner needs to end on a high note with the Cardinals and get himself atleast one more contract.