The Arizona Cardinals are hoping to see the same success that their NFC West counterparts have had in recent seasons. For that to happen, the Cardinals need to have a successful offseason ahead of Kliff Kingsbury’s second season with the franchise.
In Kingsbury’s first season, Arizona finished with a 5-10-1 record. That was good enough for fourth place in the tough NFC West division.
Despite the abysmal record, Kyler Murray was able to give fans in the desert a glimmer of hope. The rookie signal-caller won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award after throwing 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 2019.
Heading into the offseason, the Cardinals are going to possess around $51 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. Along with a decent amount of cap space, Arizona also owns the No. 8 overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
With the Cardinals hoping for a quick turn around, this offseason is a vital one for the organization. Given that, here are three moves the Cardinals must make this offseason.
3. Re-Sign D.J. Humphries
The Cardinals didn’t have a great year in terms of protecting Murray. As a matter of fact, the offensive line surrendered a grand total of 50 sacks in 2019 (tied for fifth-most in the NFL).
While the offensive line as a whole left a lot to be desired, D.J. Humphries had the best season of his career. Back in 2015, Humphries was the 24th overall pick in the first round of the draft. Now, Humphries is set to hit free agency.
In his fifth season in the NFL, Humphries was able to start in all 16 games for the first time in his career. Additionally, the Florida product played in 1,064 offensive snaps and gave up only two sacks. Re-signing Humphries is a priority for the Cardinals if they intend to keep some continuity on the offensive line.
2. Re-Sign Kenyan Drake
Besides Humphries, the Cardinals are also going to witness Kenyan Drake become an unrestricted free agent. During the regular season, Arizona was able to land Drake in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.
Upon his arrival, Arizona’s offense got exponentially better with him in the backfield. In his eight games with the Cardinals, the dynamic running back recorded 814 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns.
Regardless of what the Cardinals plan on doing with David Johnson, it would be wise to bring back Drake next season. Giving Murray a versatile running back can be beneficial for the future.
1. Draft CeeDee Lamb
As mentioned above, the Cardinals occupy the eighth-overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft. In the event that Arizona keeps Humphries, that could give them an opportunity to add an offensive weapon for Murray.
In light of that, the Cardinals would be remiss to pass up on the opportunity of selecting CeeDee Lamb. Lamb is considered to be one of the surefire wide receiver prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It’s important to realize that Murray played with Lamb in his final season at Oklahoma in 2018. Adding a lethal weapon like Lamb to a receiver corps that includes Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald would pay dividends for the Cardinals.