Latest News

Arizona Cardinals 2024 NFL offseason primer: Good vibes around team despite few wins

February 23rd, 2024

Arizona Cardinals‘ 2023 season: 4-13, missed playoffs

Overview: Though the record wasn’t pretty, the Cardinals had to feel good about 2023 on a number of fronts. First-year head coach Jonathan Gannon appeared to get buy-in from his players and looked like he belonged in the job. A number of young stars emerged, like tight end Trey McBride and offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

Most importantly, Kyler Murray‘s play suggested he could still be the franchise quarterback after coming off a torn ACL. That has the Cardinals now seemingly looking to upgrade around Murray, and they have a treasure trove of draft picks with which to do so, thanks primarily to an additional 2024 first-round pick they acquired from Houston after trading out of the No. 3 spot last spring.

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

Key free agents

WR Marquise Brown
LB Ezekiel Turner
TE Geoff Swaim

Who’s in/out: Brown is impactful when healthy (not to mention close to Kyler Murray), but he also hasn’t played a full season since 2020, ending last season on IR with a heel injury. General manager Monti Ossenfort also isn’t the one who traded for Brown in the first place; that was Ossenfort’s predecessor, Steve Keim. Is Brown worth bringing back at a $13.4 million cap hit, especially when the No. 4 overall pick figures to yield Marvin Harrison Jr. or another top-end prospect?

Key free agent needs

Wide receiver
Edge rusher
Interior defensive line
Offensive line

Why the holes? Now that Kyler Murray has reestablished himself as the quarterback to build around, it’s time to surround him with weapons. Even if the Cardinals bring back Marquise Brown and use the No. 4 pick on a receiver, the room needs a major facelift. Arizona’s defense also struggled in 2023, ranking dead last in PFF’s overall grade and run defense. An injection of talent up the middle and rushing the passer is first priority.

Will Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown still be teammates in Arizona this fall? (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)Will Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown still be teammates in Arizona this fall? (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Will Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown still be teammates in Arizona this fall? (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Do they have the money?

The Cardinals are a projected $44.6 million under the cap, according to Spotrac, giving them flexibility to make some free agent moves.

Potential notable cuts

OT D.J. Humphries
RB James Conner
LB Kyzir White

Why they might be gone: Humphries finished last season on injured reserve and is scheduled to make $22.9 million against the cap in 2024, so the Cardinals might look to get younger and cheaper there. Conner ($8.4 million) and White (6.75 million), meanwhile, are effective players but perhaps too costly for their overall production level.

Draft picks

1st round: No. 4
1st round: No. 27 (from Texans)
2nd round: No. 35
3rd round: No. 66
3rd round: No. 71 (from Titans)
3rd round: No. 90 (from Texans)
4th round: No. 105
5th round: No. 137
5th round: No. 161 (from Texans)
6th round: No. 188 (from Vikings)
7th round: No. 222
7th round: No. 224 (from Giants)
7th round: No. 241 (from Browns)

Good draft fit

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Marvin Harrison Jr. has been widely mocked to the Cardinals at No. 4, and the fit is clear as day. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Marvin Harrison Jr. has been widely mocked to the Cardinals at No. 4, and the fit is clear as day. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Marvin Harrison Jr. has been widely mocked to the Cardinals at No. 4, and the fit is clear as day. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Why him? Why not him? Harrison is Yahoo Sports NFL Draft expert Nate Tice’s No. 2 overall player this year, with ideal traits, advanced technique and few blemishes. This is a pretty deep wide receiver class, so it says something that Harrison Jr. is so lauded. He could be catching passes from Kyler Murray for the next decade.

What can move the fantasy football needle this offseason?

The Cardinals ranked behind only the Falcons in pass rate over expectation and were bottom-10 in points scored during Jonathan Gannon’s first year in Arizona. Kyler Murray didn’t return until midseason, and the Cardinals’ offense sported one of the fastest paces in the league, so it’s not all bad news for fantasy managers. With the No. 4 pick in the draft, odds heavily favor Arizona sticking with Murray at quarterback and drafting potential superstar WR Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison looks like a generational prospect who has the highest ADP by a rookie WR ever in early fantasy drafts, while Marquise Brown is an unrestricted free agent who’s likely to leave. The addition of Harrison would be huge news for Murray’s fantasy value, although it would also make Trey McBride more like a top-three TE than potentially No. 1. With Murray a year removed from knee surgery and Harrison possibly joining the desert, the Cardinals are a fantasy offense to target in 2024. — Dalton Del Don

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
Disclaimer/Note: TGM Radio’s latest news posts are a collection of curated and aggregated, fresh content from the best news sources across the globe.

Tags:

Comments are closed.