How many years will the Arizona Cardinals rebuild take?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals / Jennifer Stewart/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals are in rebuilding mode, and we know this given their less-than enthusiastic but necessary free agent signings.

So often in pro sports, we hear that an ideal rebuild will last between four and five seasons before a team is competitive. But such a rebuild often comprises a bare bones roster full of stopgaps holding down a position until a younger player is ready to take over. 

But for the Arizona Cardinals, they’re in luck. As of right now, they have a franchise quarterback who they are willing to tailor the offense around to fit their unique skill-set. They also have, and I’ve mentioned this before, a lot of young talent on defense, especially at linebacker and in the secondary. 

With those variables, it’s safe to say Big Red’s rebuild won’t take as long as say, a team like the Houston Texans, who are basically starting over. If they hit on most of their draft picks, that is. 

The Arizona Cardinals could be competitive by 2025

Here are the pluses. As of 2023, notable players the Arizona Cardinals have who can be here for the long haul on offense include:

  • Kyler Murray, QB
  • Marquise Brown, WR
  • D.J. Humphries, T
  • Josh Jones, T/G
  • Trey McBride, TE
  • Greg Dortch, WR
  • Will Hernandez, G

While there are no guarantees any of the above will be here long-term, they have all shown enough to at least give us hope that they can be. Even better? They are all in their 20s. Now, let’s look at the defense:

  • Budda Baker, S
  • Jalen Thompson, S
  • Marco Wilson, CB
  • Isaiah Simmons, LB/DB
  • Kyzir White, LB
  • Zaven Collins, LB

Even without Zach Allen and Byron Murphy Jr, this lineup isn’t a bad group. And once again, everyone is 29 or younger. Then, you have eight draft picks, including five in the Top 105. 

So let’s look at some options. How is this for a scenario in the 2023 Draft, without mentioning any names, but only positions:

  • 1st round, Edge
  • 2nd round, Corner
  • 3rd round, Center
  • 3rd round, DL
  • 4th round, RB

And this is all acting under the assumption that DeAndre Hopkins stays. He probably won’t, and he will likely go for a second-rounder and hopefully a mid-rounder. But that would also give the Cards two more positions to fill. 

With a solid unit in place at offensive line and stopgaps like 34-year-old Kelvin Beachum, 33-year-old Zach Ertz, and a few others, the Cardinals have enough pieces in place to lay a little more than a foundation this season. If they hit hard on their draft picks this year, next year, and supplement as needed in free agency, much as they’ve done in 2023, you’re going to be looking at a potential playoff contender come 2025. 

If Kyler Murray gets his act together, and the Arizona Cardinals continue to click, this team could make a deep playoff run come 2026. It might seem like a while, but you will see overall improvements perhaps even starting in 2023. 

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