Sometime over the past several months, the Arizona Cardinals became the laughingstock of the NFL. Following a promising start to the 2021 season, things have gone downhill for the team quite rapidly. The previous regime has been jettisoned, and general manager Monti Ossenfort has been burdened with the task of bringing the Cards back to respectability.
There are those who believe that Ossenfort is taking a strange path toward accomplishing that goal. At the present time, Arizona possesses one of the least-talented rosters in the league. It's gotten so bad, in fact, that a group of experts have accused the organization of tanking the upcoming campaign.
You don't succeed in the league without star performers, and the Redbirds have very few of those remaining. Most of the players who did fit into that category are no longer with the franchise. Now that those individuals are no longer around, the Cards could struggle mightily to win games this coming fall.
The Arizona Cardinals will move on without a trio of star players in 2023
A large amount of eyebrows were raised this past spring when the Cardinals granted DeAndre Hopkins his flat-out release. The five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver made the club much more relevant when he arrived back in 2020. Unfortunately, Hopkins' stay with the team would consist of just 35 appearances over three seasons.
J.J. Watt, a former teammate of Hopkins with the Houston Texans, has also bolted from the Cards. Ossenfort had no control over this particular departure, however. Watt opted to retire, despite that fact that the defensive end racked up 12.5 sacks, 25 quarterback hits and seven pass breakups for the "Big Red" defense in 2022.
Arizona believed that they had acquired a future star when they landed linebacker Isaiah Simmons three years ago. That didn't seem to be too far-fetched when you consider that the versatile defender was the eighth-overall selection of the '20 draft. Many members of the "Red Sea" were baffled once again last week when Ossenfort traded Simmons to the New York Giants for a measly seventh-round pick.
The closest thing resembling a superstar on the Cards' current roster is Budda Baker, a safety who was a second-round choice of the franchise back in 2017. With a pair of Pro Bowls on his professional resume, quarterback Kyler Murray has also flirted with star staus. Take those two away, however, and you'll quickly realize that the cupboard is pretty much bare in the Arizona desert.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)