Handful of 30-somethings show us a youthful Arizona Cardinals team

Nov 6, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) leaves the field
Nov 6, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) leaves the field / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

For years, the Arizona Cardinals looked more like a team players signed with to play out their respective career twilights. That’s not the case these days.

The Arizona Cardinals still have a few older players on the roster. However, they are so much younger now, that you can count on one hand on how many players they have over age 30:

  • Matt Prater (38)
  • Colt McCoy (36)
  • Kelvin Beachum (34)
  • Zach Ertz (32)
  • Aaron Brewer (32)

Source: Spotrac

Notice something about that list? Not a single one of them are playing on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, the Cardinals currently have two players on their roster who are 30, with those players being quarterback Jeff Driskel, and cornerback Antonio Hamilton. They also have two players who will turn 30 during the season in D.J. Humphries and Carlos Watkins, but that won’t occur until December. 

This means that the rest of the Cardinals presently only have one player on defense who is 30 or older, and that’s Hamilton. Looking at these numbers alone, it shows you just how young our Cardinals are getting, and it should give fans a lot of hope that if this group sticks together, they will become one of the NFL’s better football teams within the next couple of seasons. 

Arizona Cardinals are a young, upstart bunch in 2023

For a while now, I’ve fully supported Monti Ossenfort’s view. He didn’t sign guys in their late 20s and early 30s to lucrative, long-term deals, even if he was able to afford it. We saw the fiasco that was regarding DeAndre Hopkins in his second and third seasons with the Cards, and Ossenfort rightfully avoided any chance of a repeat.

In the meantime, he still brought back leaders in Prater, Brewer, Beachum, and Hamilton. A handful of players who, despite being on the other side of 30, would do well guiding a young football team. 

Sure, there will be growing pains in 2023, but there will also be sound developments coming the Cardinals way. The rebuild, for once, is actually being constructed correctly, through the draft, supplementing with free agency, and even with current young talent that were products of the previous regime-yes, even Steve Keim managed to make a few good decisions!

This has created quite the upstart bunch in the desert. And you will likely see the team, with its plethora of draft picks in 2024, get even younger, but more intriguing as time moves forward. Few have realized how young this team is until you look long and hard at the actual number of 30-somethings above. And while there will be inexperience, it also foreshadows, again, assuming the group sticks together, a lot of success that we could even start to see occur in 2024