Top 5 players on Arizona Cardinals defense who will comprise long-term core

The Arizona Cardinals may be rebuilding, but they have players on defense who will make up the defensive core for at least the next five to seven seasons.
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The Arizona Cardinals could be a rebuilding team in 2023, but their defense has far more potential than many around the league give them credit for. With quite a few major contributors over the last season or two, the Cardinals have at least five potential impact players who will be with this team long-term, even if things don’t look so certain at the moment. 

Below, you will see five players who, thanks to their overall productivity and youth, should remain in the desert for a long time. And just so you know, none of the players mentioned are rookies or second-year talents. Instead, we are talking about quite a few young, seasoned veterans. 

Zaven Collins
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5 players on Arizona Cardinals defense who will stick around

5 - Zaven Collins, EDGE/LB

Zaven Collins could prove to be quite the hybrid player in this new Arizona Cardinals system. We know he can put up solid numbers at inside linebacker, but if he can also master outside linebacker, EDGE, then the Cards have an incredible, and versatile piece on defense. 

With more than enough cap space to ink players like Collins, and those listed below, to a contract extension when that time comes, expect him to be on general manager Monti Ossenfort’s shortlist to get one once he produces at EDGE. 

Therefore, you can expect to see Collins wearing cardinal and red for quite some time. And yes, his time in the desert will last well beyond 2026, when his contract is set to expire should they pick up his fifth-year option.

4 - Isaiah Simmons, DB

Although the Cardinals didn’t pick up Isaiah Simmons’ fifth-year option, I’m not convinced he’s done in the desert after 2023. With a new staff and front office in place, it never surprised me that they decided to forgo picking up the option, something I discussed a few months back. 

Further, Simmons is moving to a new position this year, and it makes further sense to see how he fares in the secondary before committing to him for an additional season. That being said, look for the soon-to-be fourth-year player to excel in the secondary, and when he does, he will get his extension.