Jonathan Gannon correct in claiming the Arizona Cardinals aren’t rebuilding

Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon speaks during a press conference at the Dignity Health
Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon speaks during a press conference at the Dignity Health / Joel Angel Juarez/The Republic / USA

Word around the league states the Arizona Cardinals are rebuilding, but don’t tell that to head coach Jonathan Gannon and Company.

It’s official: Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon doesn’t want to hear that the Redbirds are rebuilding. And rightfully so. 

Sure, many fans weren’t happy with the organization signing many players who weren’t full-time starters, and that they didn’t make a splash in free agency. But that doesn’t mean they’re rebuilding, despite posting a 4-13 record and doing little in the way of bringing blockbuster talent to the desert. 

Here is what Gannon had to say on the subject:

"“Let me just say — I just cringed when you said that word. Our sole focus is to win football games. That’s in our thought process of what can we do on a daily basis whether it be through acquisition of players or what we’re doing with our players now. Our sole focus is to win football games, so that’s what we’re doing.”"

Jonathan Gannon, via CardsWire

What are the Arizona Cardinals doing, exactly?

Honestly, the Redbirds realize that, just because they have/had a lot of cap space in free agency, that they didn’t need to use it to sign established talent with only a few (if that) decent seasons left in the league. It’s why they didn’t go after the likes of James Bradberry, Javon Hargrave, or any other star player clearly on the back nine of their career. 

Sure, they could have probably signed both players, and still brought in Kyzir White, Krys Barnes, and others. But long-term, such a mentality only shortens the window of opportunity. It compromises long-term success, and the last thing the Cardinals need at the moment is to do EXACTLY what Steve Keim did, which involved acquiring established talent year in and year out, only to win one playoff game in a decade. 

Acquiring such free agents would’ve been beyond foolish, and it also would’ve shown that the Cardinals learned nothing as an organization after a decade of subpar football under Keim. So what do you do instead? Sign role players, and those who can provide serviceable output in free agency, and get your star players through the draft. 

It’s not a rebuild. Instead, it’s lengthening the window of winning, setting the stage for potential long-term success. The alternative? A short window of winning, and likely cap trouble. 

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Source: Jonathan Gannon cringes at thought of a rebuilding year by Jess Root,