During the official Super Bowl handoff ceremony last month, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill expressed his Super Bowl aspirations for the 2022 season. Cardinals GM Steve Keim must fill several holes on the roster this offseason to make that happen. With the free agency period beginning on March 16, here is the first position group breakdown.
Free-agent primer: Wide Receiver
Other free-agent primers: (more to come later)
Cap hit of players under contract for 2022 (via OverTheCap.com): WR DeAndre Hopkins ($25 million); WR Rondale Moore ($2.7 million); WR Andy Isabella ($1.4 million); WR Greg Dortch ($895,000); WR Andre Baccellia ($705,000).
Scheduled free agents: WR A.J. Green, WR Christian Kirk, WR Antoine Wesley (ER)
Analysis: Among areas the Cardinals need to improve, finding a No. 2 wide receiver option to complement Pro Bowl DeAndre Hopkins ranks near the top. During the seven games Hopkins missed with injuries, it became apparent how much the offense depends on him to succeed.
The Cardinals' decision-makers signed A.J. Green during 2020 free agency to line across from Hopkins. Overall, Green had a solid year but did not appear on the same wavelength as quarterback Kyler Murray.
Christian Kirk became the full-time slot receiver after future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald decided not to return. Kirk had a career year, finishing 18 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season since entering the league in 2018. His ability to stretch the field from the slot gave Murray another downfield threat.
It's unlikely the Cardinals will re-sign both. Kirk could land a lucrative deal elsewhere based on his market value and age. Green showed he still has juice in the tank but will turn 34 in July. There are several potential wideouts in free agency, including Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin and Chicago's Allen Robinson – as potential replacements on the outside.
Rookie wideout Rondale Moore is expected to have a more prominent role next season, after impressing in Year One.
Notable past free agent wide receiver signings: Green (2021); Brice Butler (2018); Ted Ginn (2014); Sean Morey (2007).
Images of some of the top free agent wide receivers scheduled to hit the open market.