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Breaking Down The Cardinals' Roster After 2022

Whomever is hired to be new general manager, much work awaits

The Cardinals need to see if they can re-sign defensive lineman Zach Allen (94), something that becomes more important with the retirement of defensive lineman J.J. Watt (99).
The Cardinals need to see if they can re-sign defensive lineman Zach Allen (94), something that becomes more important with the retirement of defensive lineman J.J. Watt (99).

The rebuild, or reset, or whatever you want to call what the Cardinals have begun since closing the 2022 season in San Francisco, will have multiple steps.

For now, that means hiring a new general manager, and a new coach. It will trickle down from there when it comes to both the team's personnel department and the coaching staff.

"There are teams that have been down a few years ago that have flipped around and now are in the playoffs, so I feel like we can be a quick turnaround," owner Michael Bidwill said. "We've got to get the right head coach, the right general manager, and we can do that."

But the roster and the guys on it are what ultimately win games, and to say the Cardinals' roster is in flux is an understatement. In part because of so many injuries this season, the Cardinals have a whopping 39 players who aren't under contract for next season, 33 of them unrestricted free agents.

"Our record (was) terrible but when you look at the talent on this team, we've got a lot of talent," Bidwill said. "We've just got to make sure that they're all playing together."

With the season coming to a close, azcardinals.com writer Darren Urban gives his personal take on the majority of the Cardinals' roster heading into the offseason. UFA is unrestricted free agent. RFA is restricted free agent (and whose movement can be controlled with a tender offer, which gives right of first refusal). ERFA is exclusive rights, meaning a player must accept a tender offer.

Free agency figures to play a big role in how the roster evolves for next season, given all the free-agents-to-be. Comments are for today and the future for any particular player is fluid.

Table inside Article
QUARTERBACKSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
David Blough*RFA*Showed that he could work as a reserve next season
Colt McCoy2023Makes sense as Murray backup, but do Cards see him as Murray stand-in early in season?
Trace McSorley*UFA*Was passed by Blough on depth chart
Kyler Murray2029Everyone waits to see when he will be back and playing
Table inside Article
RUNNING BACKSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Corey Clement*UFA*Was helpful once Eno was cut, and makes sense to have as offseason unfolds
James Conner2024Again a workhorse. Brings a desire and physical attitude every team needs
Keaontay Ingram2025Will face a big offseason of learning game, earning No. 2 spot behind Conner
Darrel Williams*UFA*Was a solid No. 2 before injury; Figures to try to find better money/opportunity elsewhere
Table inside Article
WIDE RECEIVERSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Robbie Anderson2023Never fit in and $12 million cap hit in 2023 means decision is coming
Andre Baccellia*ERFA*Whether it is roster or practice squad, Cardinals keep bringing him back
Marquise Brown2023Was solid, but didn't play enough with D-Hop, or Kyler for that matter
Pharoh Cooper*UFA*Still is an impressive return guy
Greg Dortch*ERFA*Emerged as a guy who can make some plays when he gets the chance
A.J. Green*UFA*Retirement seems the likely next step
DeAndre Hopkins2024Played well when he played, but after suspension and sitting last two, D-Hop needs reset
Rondale Moore2024Has talent, no question. But has to find a way to stay on the field
Antoine Wesley*RFA*Lost year after training camp injury and subsequent setback
Table inside Article
TIGHT ENDSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Stephen Anderson*UFA*Helped on special teams, will face competition if brought back
Zach Ertz2024Like Kyler, team waiting to see what he looks like post-ACL tear
Trey McBride2025Finally started looking like a second-round draft pick late in season
Benhard SeikovitsSigned futures contractWas much better than as a rookie, but eventually, has to be good enough to be in NFL
Maxx Williams*UFA*Physically, he isn't the same, but he is important in locker room, and still can serve a role
Table inside Article
OFFENSIVE LINESIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Kelvin Beachum (T)*UFA*Great in community, locker room; does JJones have chance to supplant him?
Rashaad Coward (G/T)*UFA*Was a fill-in piece with all the injuries
Cody Ford (G/T)*UFA*Had a chance to earn starting job but could not
Max Garcia (G/C)*UFA*Ended up back on the field as injuries ravaged line
Sean Harlow (C/G)*UFA*Couldn't take advantage of opening at center
Will Hernandez (G)*UFA*Would think there's chance to bring him back, compete for starting role
Rodney Hudson (C)2023Looks like retirement he had already considered is inevitable
Marquis Hayes (G)2025Lost rookie year to injury but coaches like his mentality
D.J. Humphries (T)2025Got a contract extension but back injury made it a lost year
Josh Jones (T)2023Solid as Hump fill-in. Can he play right tackle? Left guard?
Josh Miles (T)*UFA*Lost year with injury and his time might be over
Billy Price (C)*UFA*Saved Cardinals with Hudson injuries; status may depend on other moves
Justin Pugh (G)*UFA*Talked retirement last year and may finally make that call
Lecitus Smith (G/C)2025Rookie got a little time but was mysterious healthy scratch in finale
Table inside Article
DEFENSIVE LINESIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Zach Allen*UFA*Blossomed and the Cardinals really need to re-sign him
Michael Dogbe*UFA*He's on the roster, off the roster, practice squad -- but he's there if needed
Leki Fotu2023Played a ton but likely best suited in a reserve role
Trysten Hill*UFA*Since the Cardinals need bodies, he could come back
Rashard Lawrence2023Played well when he played. But he is hurt far too often
Jonathan Ledbetter*ERFA*Low-key was solid for the Cardinals this season
J.J. Watt*UFA*Heading into retirement with a flourish
Table inside Article
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Victor Dimukeje2024Seemed to be making progress but playing time was up and down
Dennis Gardeck2024Remains key special teams player
Markus Golden2023Missed preseason with injury and never really got going
Jesse Luketa2023Will battle for reserve role next season
Myjai Sanders2025Flashed quite a bit, but needs to take giant strides to be what Cardinals need in '23
Cameron Thomas2025Another rookie that had some good moments but needs to take big step
Table inside Article
INSIDE LINEBACKERSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Zaven Collins2024Became pretty solid every-down linebacker in Year 2
Kamu Grugier-Hill*UFA*Helped on special teams after signing late
Ben Niemann*UFA*Was surprisingly steady in his defensive role
Isaiah Simmons2023Lots of splash plays. Still more divots than Cardinals want, but progress is there
Ezekiel Turner*UFA*Remains a special teams glue guy
Tanner Vallejo*UFA*Another player who probably ended up playing more than expected
Nick Vigil*UFA*Injury torpedoed this free-agent signing
Table inside Article
CORNERBACKSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Antonio Hamilton*UFA*Was a steady starter after bouncing around for seven seasons
Josh Jackson*UFA*Was an injury fill-in late
Christian Matthew2025Raw but got playing time and if he can grow he will have opportunity in this secondary
Byron Murphy Jr.*UFA*Big question: Does he re-sign, or does another team offer big bucks?
Jace Whittaker*ERFA*The Cardinals keep calling him every time they are short at corner
Marco Wilson2024He's developing. Was solid the second half of the season
Table inside Article
SAFETIESSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Budda Baker2024Heart and soul of defense and a "Hard Knocks" star now too
Chris Banjo*UFA*Was there when the Cardinals needed to bring him back
Jalen Thompson2025Lone defensive player to start every game
Charles Washington*UFA*Still a factor on special teams
Table inside Article
SPECIALISTSSIGNED THROUGHCOMMENT
Aaron Brewer*UFA*Got injured late but remains steady as ever
Andy Lee*UFA*At some point, Cards will move on, but that might not be yet
Matt Prater*UFA*Got hot late drilling 50-plus yarders; if he can stay healthy still a weapon
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