The Arizona Cardinals have had a very uneventful offseason, with some key players heading to new teams. Arizona lost star pass rusher Chandler Jones along with wide receiver Christian Kirk, running back Chase Edmonds, and linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Losing these pieces is tough, as they had significant roles for the Cardinals. The NFC West is a tough division, and it will be hard for the Cardinals to get back to the playoffs.
The biggest move this offseason by Arizona was re-signing James Conner to a three-year deal. Losing Edmonds made it even more of a necessity to bring Conner back. Cardinals fans seem to agreen.
VOTE: How would you grade the #AZCardinals' re-signing of James Conner in #NFL free agency? (Deal on 'most regrettable' list: https://t.co/zvylpwQvkW) @azcentral #RedSea
— azcentral sports (@azcsports) March 22, 2022
Last season, Conner rushed for 752 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also made an impact in the passing game, with 37 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Conner will continue to be the elite red zone back for the Cardinals offense.
Kyler Murray is the central piece of the roster as a star dual-threat quarterback. Murray's ability to run threatens defenses, which leads to more success for Conner.
Arizona also brought back tight end Zach Ertz on a three-year deal, which keeps a reliable target on the team. The Cardinals don't have proven weapons outside of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Ertz. Rondale Moore has shown flashes, but he will need to be more consistent to help the Arizona offense remain an elite group,
The offensive line and defense could use some work if they want to get back to the postseason. With that said, here are two moves the Cardinals still must make to complete their roster in 2022.
2 Moves the Cardinals Must Make to Complete Their 2022 NFL Roster
2. Sign wide receiver Will Fuller
A couple of seasons ago, Will Fuller was a dynamic deep threat for the Houston Texans. Last season, he struggled to stay on the field due to a suspension and injuries.
The Cardinals could sign him on a bargain contract since he is coming off an injury. This would be a good fit for Fuller, as Arizona has an explosive offense. Fuller would also be reunited with Hopkins, who he played with on the Texans.
In 11 games in 2020, Fuller caught 53 passes for 879 yards and eight touchdowns. He would be a great weapon to add to Kliff Kingsbury's offensive system.
1. Draft George Karlaftis
Losing star pass rusher Chandler Jones is a massive blow to the Cardinals' defense. Jones is the all-time leader in sacks for the franchise, and his production will be missed.
Using a first-round pick on a pass rusher could help Arizona's defense stay afloat. George Karlaftis would be an excellent pick if he is available.
Karlaftis is a physical pass rusher with NFL-ready tools to disrupt the passer. He hasn't developed into a run stopper yet, but that could be learned over time.
Disrupting Matthew Stafford in the pocket would help them contain the Los Angeles Rams offense. When Stafford has time to deliver, he usually connects to one of his receivers downfield.
The Cardinals play the Rams twice a year and lost to them in the Wild Card Round last season. It was a dominant win by the Rams, 34-11, exposing Arizona on both sides of the ball. If the Cardinals want to contain explosive offenses like the Rams, they will need to put pressure on the quarterback.
Karlaftis fits that role and should be taken by Arizona in the first round.
While the Cardinals have had an underwhelming offseason, these two moves could get them back on track for a playoff run.