Arizona Cardinals: An honest assessment of Monti Ossenfort's performance in 2023

We’re only 13 of 17 games into the 2023 Arizona Cardinals season, but we have seen enough of Monti Ossenfort to give him an honest letter grade.
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Year 1 for Monti Ossenfort’s tenure leading the front office has reached its final month, and we are now ready to make an honest assessment of how the Arizona Cardinals general manager performed in 2023. We saw a lot of roster turnover early, with the new front office executive choosing not to retain solid contributors like Zach Allen and Byron Murphy Jr, who were integral parts during the latter days of the Steve Keim era.

Some of these moves weren’t what some fans were looking for, but Ossenfort arrived in the desert with a plan in place. It involved bringing in cheaper talent who could potentially fit the new systems and the culture, prioritizing draft picks, and continually making necessary roster moves during the preseason and regular season. 

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Oct 8, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kyzir White (7) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

An honest grade for Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort

Free agency: A-

While some fans may not forgive Ossenfort for spending so little even with some of the league’s most abundant salary cap space, we should have learned from “Keim Time” that spending big on free agents isn’t always a good recipe for long-term success. Therefore, Ossenfort refused to spend in March 2023, and while it gave the illusion of “tanking,” we now know a few of those free agents were good pickups. 

Hjalte Froholdt may be the most notable, as he appears to have locked down the starting center job for the foreseeable future. Kevin Strong, Kyzir White, Josh Woods, and Krys Barnes were also solid signings, and they should all return in 2024 with even larger roles. 

Sure, there were disappointments, like guards Dennis Daley and Elijah Wilkinson, plus a couple of names who barely got to play thanks to injuries like L.J. Collier and Carlos Watkins. But Ossenfort did enough in free agency to find a few starters and key role players, and he therefore accomplished what he set out to do.

Source: Gauging the departures and arrivals of the Arizona Cardinals in 2023 by Bob McManaman, AZ Central