Offseason Moves the Cardinals Need to Make to Go From Worst to First in the NFC West

Max Staley
Kyler Murray won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2019.
Kyler Murray won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2019. / Abbie Parr/Getty Images
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Entering the year, there were a lot of legitimate questions surrounding the Arizona Cardinals. Skeptics wondered whether the pairing of the 5-foot-10 Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid offense would translate to the NFL level.

One Offensive Rookie of the Year Award later, it's safe to say Kingsbury and Murray answered those questions in resounding fashion. But even though things seem to be trending in the right direction, Arizona finished 5-10-1 in 2019, and the Cardinals obviously still have a long way to go.

With that in mind, here are three moves Arizona should make this offseason as the Cardinals attempt to go from worst to first in the NFC West.

1. Address the Offensive Line

The Cardinals re-signed D.J. Humphries, but offensive line still needs to be a priority in 2020.
The Cardinals re-signed D.J. Humphries, but offensive line still needs to be a priority in 2020. / Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Cardinals inked D.J. Humphries to a three-year, $45 million extension this offseason. While the contract might be a bit of an overpay, it underlines the idea that Arizona knows it must improve its offensive line in 2020. The Cardinals' O-Line surrendered the league's eighth-worst sack rate in 2019 (8.3 percent), and on average only gave Murray 2.3 seconds in the pocket, which put Arizona in a five-way tie for the worst such mark in the NFL. Armed with the No. 8 pick, the Cardinals should explore drafting someone like Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. or Louisville's Mekhi Becton in the first round. But they shouldn't stop there. With more than $50 million in cap space, Arizona is a natural landing spot for a veteran lineman like Joe Thuney or Jack Conklin in free agency.

2. Add Another Pass-Catcher

Hunter Henry catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings.
Hunter Henry catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings. / Harry How/Getty Images

Addressing the line should be the team's first priority on offense, but the Cardinals undeniably need to upgrade their pass-catching group as well. Thankfully, the 2020 NFL Draft is widely regarded as one of the deepest WR drafts in quite some time, and Arizona should have no trouble landing a solid option with a mid-round pick. A deep threat like Jalen Reagor could be an excellent complement to incumbent starter Christian Kirk, and he might still be there near the top of the second. Alternatively, Arizona could look to spend on tight end in free agency. Hunter Henry or Austin Hooper could be great additions, as the Cardinals didn't have a single TE eclipse even 240 receiving yards in 2019.

3. Address the Secondary

Patrick Peterson will be 30 years old when next season kicks off.
Patrick Peterson will be 30 years old when next season kicks off. / Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Beyond Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals' secondary is pretty much bereft of talent. As a whole, the pass defense graded out as the league's sixth-worst unit against the pass, per Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics. Arizona also surrendered the second-most adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) in the NFL, with an average of 8.7 AY/A. Given that they play in a division loaded with top-tier passing attacks, this unit needs some sweeping changes. Darius Slay is rumored to be available on the trade market, and he'd be a huge get assuming Arizona can stomach what is sure to be a hefty price tag. The Cardinals could also look to add a star corner like Byron Jones or Chris Harris Jr. in free agency, and they'd surely rush to the podium if Jeff Okudah fell to No. 8.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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