Heller’s Three Burning Questions 3.0: Arizona Cardinalsby Joe Heller June 29, 2021 1 comment
With the 2021 NFL Draft over and the schedule officially being released, it’s time for my third annual 32 part series where the top three questions will be posed for each NFL team. Here are those three questions for the Arizona Cardinals.
Be sure to check out all of Heller’s Three Burning Questions.
Another Former Houston Texans Pro Bowler?
The Cardinals’ biggest offseason addition a season ago, was former Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, in a surprising trade. Keeping with that theme the team signed J.J. Watt almost immediately after he was released by the Texans to free up cap space. On a defense that already featured playmakers like Chandler Jones, whose season ended prematurely last year after surgery to repair a torn right bicep, and Budda Baker, adding a multiple Pro Bowl selection in Watt, will make this unit even more stifling. The Cardinals also signed defensive back Malcolm Butler who is coming off of his career year in Tennessee, with the Titans.
What Can They Expect in Year Three?
Second Year quarterback Kyler Murray, followed up his Offensive Rookie of the Year Award winning season, with a season where he threw for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns. He added 819 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns as well. Other than finishing with a record of 8-8, which wasn’t a direct result of his season, there was no sophomore jinx for Murray. The addition of Hopkins and his ability to catch seemingly everything thrown his way, as well as him drawing an extra defender and allowing someone else to be open, helped Murray tremendously.
Wait, Someone’s Missing?
Similar to the New Orleans Saints team looking odd without Drew Brees under center, the Cardinals without No. 11 will take some getting used to. Future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the 11-time Pro Bowl selection, and the face of the franchise, since the Cardinals drafted him No. 3 overall in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Pitt, had hinted at retirement. While he hasn’t officially announced it, if he were to decide to return for his 18th season, it may be somewhere other than Arizona. If it is the end for Fitzgerald, his career totals include 17,492 receiving yards and 121 touchdown catches. But the most staggering of all of Larry Legend’s stats is that he will officially end his career with more career tackles (37) than dropped passes (29), which is mind-blowing for a receiver.
The Cardinals added former Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, and drafted Rondale Moore, out of Purdue, in the second round to go along with Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and last year’s breakout target for Murray, Andy Isabella. So even without Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have depth at receiver, to the delight of their third-year quarterback.
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