The Arizona Cardinals are heading into an offseason that will see them build the team far more than they managed back in March 2023. Late in the 2022 season, it became clear the team needed an overhaul, so Monti Ossenfort became the man brave enough to do the job. It comprised parting ways with a lot of players former general manager Steve Keim brought in, and the vetting continued during the 2023 season.
Now in early 2024, we’re seeing the finishing touches on the foundation Ossenfort built, with roughly 60 percent of the final 53-man roster in their first or second seasons, plenty of cap space to bring in free agents at sensible prices, and most importantly, draft picks who should be in Glendale for quite some time. Now, the time has come to build on that foundation, and it’s 2024 will be all about.
How the 2024 Arizona Cardinals can win the offseason - 2023 recap
Last offseason was all about planning ahead for 2024, so Ossenfort played some chess in utilizing free agency to pick up cheap, short-term deals that figured to be good fits for the incoming systems. Few of the signees played well or were even healthy all season, and even fewer will stick around for 2024.
Linebackers Kyzir White and Krys Barnes were a pair of ringers, along with linebacker Josh Woods. The latter should end up back on special teams after he posted serviceable but otherwise unspectacular numbers in 2023. White is a leader who should improve in 2024 and Barnes stepped in as a sound role player.
The Cardinals were smart to have re-signed Greg Dortch, as he played well in the return game and later at receiver. Matt Prater was also a smart re-signing, as he did everything right until Arizona’s Week 18 loss.
It was also good to see guard Will Hernandez return along with defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter. Hernandez will be part of the Cardinals 2024 plans while Ledbetter should sidle in as a backup. Antonio Hamilton and Zeke Turner were also smart to bring back, for another year as they too served the Arizona Cardinals well in 2023, despite being role players.
Finally, Ossenfort nailed the 2023 draft for the most part, striking gold with Paris Johnson Jr. while BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams, and Michael Wilson showed they could be solid contributors, even if they are at least a tier under superstar potential. Dante Stills and Kei’Trel Clark were excellent value picks, and Owen Pappoe could prove to be sneaky good in 2024 after a serviceable showing late in the year.