The Arizona Cardinals front office has managed the salary cap in a way that would allow the club to hang onto several key veterans.
A large contingent of Arizona Cardinals fans were maddened by the club's approach to the 2023 offseason. Any members of the "Red Sea" who were waiting for general manager Monti Ossenfort to acquire top-notch talent were thoroughly disappointed. So what is the front office doing with all of the cash that they didn't spend on this year's highly-ranked free agents?
According to Spotrac.com, the Cards have over $23 million in salary-cap room at the present time. On the bright side, every penny of that can be used to improve the roster in 2024. There's also another way, however, for Ossenfort to put that money to good use before the year is out.
The upcoming campaign could prove to be an audition for several Arizona veterans. An outstanding performance out of any player who's zeroing in on a new contract could launch Ossenfort into spending mode. If the Redbirds want to prevent any of those individuals from testing the free-agent waters in '24, they certainly have the means to do so.
There are several Arizona Cardinals veterans who could be candidates for contract extensions
With DeAndre Hopkins no longer around, Marquise Brown is now being looked at as the Cardinals' number-one wide receiver. Coincidentally, "Hollywood" happens to be heading into the final year of his rookie deal. If the 26-year-old Brown performs like he did during the first six games of the 2022 season, the decision to extend him will be a no-brainer.
Two months ago, the Cards declined to pick up the fifth-year option on Isaiah Simmons' rookie contract. There's a feeling in the air that the linebacker turned safety could be on the verge of a monster performance in '23. If the versatile defender does excel this coming fall, you can be sure that Ossenfort will attempt to reach a new agreement with Simmons before he reaches free agency next March.
The day is coming when unheralded wideout Greg Dortch is going to demand to be paid. Incredibly, the 25-year-old will earn just over $1 million this coming fall, a flat-out bargain when you consider what the receiver can bring to the Arizona offense. Dortch's restricted free-agent status will keep him in the desert next year, but it would behoove the Cardinals to hand the 25-year-old a contract that's a bit more on the fair side.
One more Cards veteran worth mentioning is Budda Baker, the five-time Pro Bowl safety who happens to be the heart and soul of the squad's defense. There's been some talk about the organization doing something about the fact that the final two years of Baker's current deal contains no guaranteed money. It would be fantastic for both parties if Ossenfort can quickly resolve the situation with one of the greatest players in franchise history.
Salary information provided by Spotrac.com