After a 7-8-1 season in 2016, changes had to happen. You cannot stand pat and for the Arizona Cardinals they knew that something had to change.
With all the guaranteed money invested on offense, the change was going to have to come on defense.
Defensively, the Cardinals have lost both safeties, a cornerback, an inside linebacker and the best 3-4 defensive end in football. Oh, Frostee Rucker is not re-signed either, so the veteran along the line is Corey Peters.
In other words, good luck James Bettcher getting this defense up to par in 2017.
While the Cardinals have prepared for the future, the massive overhaul is going to be one to work through.
Rodney Gunter and Robert Nkemdiche are along the defensive line.
Brandon Williams and Justin Bethel will fight out the second corner spot, maybe with a rookie.
Tyrann Mathieu and Tyvon Branch will likely need another safety to compete with him.
Karlos Dansby is back and will provide viable leadership and a veteran presence, but he is not quite the playmaker he was even two years ago.
It will be on James Bettcher and the defensive staff to get this defense ready for 2017, as the changes made will mean not just teaching new players, but creating a scheme to put them in a position to be successful.