There have been some major changes in the desert. So what could the Arizona Cardinals look like after the early stages of free agency? Here are a few ideas.
In five seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians posted three winning seasons and led the team to the playoffs on two occasions. Including the postseason, his 50 total victories make him the most successful head coach in the franchise’s less-than-scintillating history.
But that was then. Now the team belongs to Steve Wilks, late of the Carolina Panthers. Arizona finished 8-8 but wound up in third place in the NFC West. So what about moving forward? The Cardinals don’t have a ton of cap room as of this writing (23.2 million via Sportac). But that also change if general manager Steve Keim and Wilks opt to go in a different direction when it comes to a few veterans. Stay tuned.
In any case, that’s nothing but speculation. Here it is all about suggestion. So if the Cards opt to be big players in the free-agent market, could the following five players be on their radar?
5. Prince Amukamara, Chicago Bears
Back in 2011, University of Nebraska cornerback was the 19th overall selection in the NFL Draft. The New York Giants opted for the talented prospect but he finally took the field for the team’s final seven regular-season games. He totaled 14 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed and would go on to appear in all four of the club’s postseason tilts – including Super Bowl XLVI.
In five seasons with New York, Amukamara played in 55 regular-season contests and very slowly developed into a solid pro. There were seven picks, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries. Now he’s become a journeyman defender, joining the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 and the Chicago Bears this past year. He made 12 starts for his latest employer – totaling 48 stops, one fumble recovery while knocking down seven passes.
Could the seven-year pro make it four different teams in as many seasons? The Cardinals may have to replace cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Justin Bethel, both eligible for free agency in a little over a week.