With Super Bowl LVII officially in the books, the 2023 season has begun for all 32 franchises. Organizations such as the Arizona Cardinals could be very active in the market as they try to bounce back from their 2022 campaign.
This past season, the Cardinals went just 4-13 and finished at the bottom of the NFC West. A big reason for the team’s struggles was the high number of injuries. Important players such as quarterback Kyler Murray and Pro Bowler safety Budda Baker ended the season on the injury reserve list.
For 2023, Arizona will already have some notable absences. Both A.J. Green and J.J. Watt announced their retirements. Also, the team will have a new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, who is replacing Kliff Kingsbury. Gannon was the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles during their recent Super Bowl run.
In addition to many changes, the Cardinals are set to have about $13.5 million in cap space. Since they have more than 30 unrestricted free agents, they might need more to work with. Because of that, they might part ways with some veterans to save some money.
With that being said, here is one player from the Cardinals who could be a surprise roster cut during the 2023 offseason.
Cardinals Surprise Roster Cut: WR Robbie Anderson
After going just 2-4 to start the season, Arizona’s front office decided to take action. The team sent a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for Robbie Anderson.
The Temple product, who was with Carolina since 2020, got into an argument with wide receiver coach Joe Dailey during their Week 6 matchup versus the Los Angeles Rams. The trade was completed the day after the incident.
In 10 games with the Cardinals, Anderson had seven receptions out of 17 targets for 76 yards. He failed to score a touchdown in his first year with Arizona. He only had multiple catches in one game and played in less than 50% of the offensive snaps in all but one contest.
With Marquise “Hollywood” Brown back from his injury and DeAndre Hopkins available for the start of the season, Anderson’s role with the team can significantly diminish in 2023. Despite Green’s retirement, Arizona still has plenty of depth in its receiving group.
This means that Anderson would likely be a backup in 2023. Although a good name for a reserve, the Cardinals might opt to go in a different direction.
If they waive Anderson prior to the season, they would save about $12 million in cap space. With that money, the front office could focus on addressing other areas. For example, Arizona has no players under contract on special teams. Also, players such as starting defensive end Zach Allen are free agents, so the Cardinals could offer a bit more by getting rid of Anderson’s contract.
What might play against this decision is that they traded for Anderson in October. With such a recent move, Arizona could be hesitant to already part ways with him. Additionally, this could be a chance of having him with the team since training camp, which could increase his chemistry with Murray. Instead of learning the playbook mid-season, Anderson would have the knowledge before Week 1.
At the end of the day, the financial situation might speak louder. With a chance of clearing a big part of its salary books, Arizona could choose to find a cheaper backup.
All things considered, Robbie Anderson may end up being a surprising cut for the Cardinals during the 2023 off-season.