Arizona Cardinals: Roster overhaul could be complete by 2024

Jun 7, 2023; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune (15) during organized team
Jun 7, 2023; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune (15) during organized team / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

The consensus is that 2023 will be a wash for the Arizona Cardinals, but their roster displays enough potential to win more games than many think.

Talk to and read content from many NFL analysts, and they will lead you to believe the Arizona Cardinals roster is in shambles. This isn’t entirely true. The roster, while nowhere near talented enough to compete for the postseason, has more than a few strengths at linebacker, offensive line, receiver and tight end, and potentially even on the edge

But the roster needed an overhaul, thanks to the series of reckless signings and trades former general manager Steve Keim made, which, in turn, came at the sacrifice of numerous draft picks. While Keim looked to achieve immediate success with his teams, which resulted in just a single playoff win during his tenure, Monti Ossenfort is looking for sustained success

So it comes as no surprise he went mainly with rentals in free agency during the offseason, and sought long-term solutions with his nine draft picks. The NFL Draft was a good start to moving things north, but when you dig deeper, you will see exactly how Monti Ossenfort is setting this team up to win in 2024 and beyond, if not even sooner

For starters, Ossenfort has six draft picks in the first three rounds next season, and all eyes will be on the first round pick he acquired from the Houston Texans. Ossenfort also has a pick in the fourth round, two in the fifth, and one in the seventh, and what’s not to say he acquires even more selections before the 2024 draft rolls around?

Arizona Cardinals could turn the corner in 2024

He is also projected to have $51 million in cap space to work with, allowing him to retain those eligible for an extension at some point this season, or in the early 2024 offseason. This is one reason I said it was a smart idea to just cut Hopkins before June 1st and take the $22.6 million hit in dead cap. 

Ossenfort’s strategy was a simple one that’s been tried and true, assuming he selected the right players in the draft when it comes to rebuilding the Arizona Cardinals. Don’t spend top dollar in free agency and just sign players who can fill in the gaps for a season or two, bring in your own players via the draft, and extend those who can serve the team long-term. 

And unlike in many cases, he didn’t have to start from scratch as the team already had talent in the form of Marquise Brown, D.J. Humphries, James Conner, Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Marco Wilson, Kyzir White, Budda Baker, and Jalen Thompson, among others. 

He also has some intriguing players in Trey McBride, Will Hernandez, Cameron Thomas, and Myjai Sanders. And that doesn’t even count rookies like Paris Johnson Jr. and Jon Gaines II, both of whom could definitely contribute this season, along with B.J. Ojulari, Garrett Williams, Kei’Trel Clark, Dante Stills, Clayton Tune, and Owen Pappoe. Do the math, and I just named 21 players. 

In short, regardless of what happens this season, the Arizona Cardinals are on the right path for long-term success thanks to Ossenfort. And as you can see from the breakdown above, it’s hard not to get excited about this team’s potential success that could start as early as 2024.

Ranking the Arizona Cardinals projected EDGE rushers for 2023. Ranking the Arizona Cardinals projected EDGE rushers for 2023. dark. Must Read

Source: The Cardinals Are Embarrassing and Also May Be the Story of the 2023 NFL Season by Connor Orr,