The Arizona Cardinals could fall into a trap if they enjoy a good offseason in 2024

In 2023, nobody had a high opinion of the Arizona Cardinals, and those low expectations made it easy for the team to show fight in most of their games.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the / Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY

Most fans of the Arizona Cardinals can agree that despite the poor record, the Redbirds made up for it by showing an edgy side. They stole wins from three playoff-bound teams and came close to handing losses to a few more decent squads like the Houston Texans and the Seattle Seahawks.

It’s almost like the 2023 Cardinals realized few expected much, and they went out of their way to at least show they could compete in more games than many anticipated. Last season was one of those campaigns when winning four out of 17 games was a reason to at least realize the team was better than most figured they would be, but losing 13 games in 2024 won’t be good enough. 

With so much salary cap space and draft picks, expect the Cardinals to look very different going into 2024, and that will come with higher expectations for the Redbirds. That said, the Cardinals must show the same grit that we saw in 2023 coupled with the raised expectations, or else 2024 won’t be a successful season. 

A good 2024 offseason could inadvertently haunt the Arizona Cardinals

When you’re not expected to accomplish much, it’s easy to overachieve, even if it means winning just a few games, albeit several high-profile ones. But when expectations rise, it could mean the team loses that edge that made them so much tougher to beat than any initially anticipated in previous seasons, and if the Cards fall victim to this trap, then they will be prone to stagnating. 

Therefore, head coach Jonathan Gannon must find ways to get the best out of what will be an improved squad in 2024. With more cap space than two-thirds of the NFL, expect a more entertaining free agency, and an even better NFL Draft come April, both of which will be catalysts for increased expectations in the desert. 

If the Arizona Cardinals continue to display the same mentality they had last season with a far better team in 2024, then expect them to perhaps double their number of wins from 2023. But if they think more talent on paper is a ticket to easing off the throttle, then 2024 will be a disappointment regardless of who they sign and draft.