Although they have a lot of cap space to work with, the Arizona Cardinals were silent throughout the first day of negotiations.
The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of cap space, but that doesn’t mean they will translate that space into multiple blockbuster free agent signings. Not saying you won’t see a notable name or two in the desert when it is all said and done, but general manager Monti Ossenfort appears to be putting himself in position to build this team in two ways:
- Extending their current talent, especially on defense, and
- Building the Cardinals through the NFL Draft
Doing so will set the team up for long-term success, and it will allow them to acquire and keep players who fit the system they are trying to implement. Again, this doesn’t mean a major signing isn’t in the works-it probably is. But we’ve also seen major signings and especially trades under former general manager Steve Keim, and those didn’t exactly work out.
Arizona Cardinals are better off building their team through the draft
While the Cardinals aren’t your typical rebuilding NFL team with ample young talent on defense and a potential winner in Kyler Murray if he can get his act together, building for the long-term makes sense overall. Keim never realized it-not that his dismal drafting record would have helped matters, but it turned the Cards into little more than a sinking ship that finally sank last season.
Monti Ossenfort realizes this, and you can bet owner Michael Bidwill realizes it, too. When Bidwill hired Ossenfort in January, the latter presented a plan in place that the Cards owner loved.
We can only assume that Ossenfort’s proposed plan was substantially different from what we saw under Keim. Or else, chances are he would have put someone else in Ossenfort’s seat.
So if you don’t see splash after splash in free agency and even players like Zach Allen heading elsewhere, don’t panic. Sure, some teams, like the Chicago Bears, are using this mentality. But keep in mind, if you try to build a team reminiscent of how a kid would build one in Madden Franchise Mode, in reality, those new pieces, talented as they are, need to mesh.
And history tells us it doesn’t often work. The Cards are better off, in hindsight, with players they can draft and develop through the system.