After several seasons, of improvements, the Arizona Cardinals made the postseason last season. Can Kyler Murray take the next step and lead them to a playoff win?
The Arizona Cardinals did not have the offseason you want to have coming off such a successful season. They finished 11-6 and earned a wild card berth to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2015, and they also started out 7-0, being the last undefeated team left in the NFL last season. Unfortunately for them, their offseason has been marred by coach payment controversy, their quarterback asking for a new contract, and a suspension to their best player on the team, but we will get into all of that in the article.
The first thing that put a little bit of a stink on this offseason was the Cardinals owner not wanting to pay the coaches bonuses following their 34-11 blowout loss to the division rival and eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Eventually, amends were made and those coaches were not only compensated, but Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury and General Manager Steve Kiem both got four-year contract extensions that have them in Arizona until 2027.
Another snag in this offseason was their franchise quarterback Kyler Murray deleting the Cardinals off his social media pages and his agent releasing a letter outlining the reasons why Kyler deserves a contract extension.
Even if he does deserve to be on a longer-term deal than just the fifth-year option that the Cardinals exercised earlier this offseason, that is not how you want to negotiate with the most important player on your team. General Manager Steve Kiem has said on several occasions that Murray will get the long-term deal he is seeking it’s just a matter of timing.
The final nail in the coffin for the Cardinals’ offseason was the six-game suspension of Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is their best player on the team and one of the top wide receivers in the league. Hopkins will be suspended for the opening game in Allegiant Stadium this season which is a relief for a Raiders secondary that has more questions than answers at this point.