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The price of change and the reality of a rebuild setting in for Arizona Cardinals

Media and fans wanted to put it off, but the Cardinals rebuild was obvious from the start.

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Consistency is important in the NFL, but consistency can also breed apathy.

You see, after the heart break of 2015, followed by what can only be described as the disappointment of 2016, things were at a crossroads for the Arizona Cardinals.

However, the status quo was held, the team went forward with the same cast of characters, and when an 8-8 season was the result, pats on the back and good luck in your next career were what was offered.

The downfall of the Arizona Cardinals is not a result of decisions made in 2018, although it plays an important part, the downfall of the Arizona Cardinals was when the team lacked the ability to self-scout and moved forward.

That’s not to say they should have benched Carson Palmer, fired Bruce Arians, etc, but they should have seen the writing on the wall.

Carson Palmer was old, injury prone and playing in an offense that demanded quite a bit from him.

Bruce Arians was a man that lived and breathed football. He didn’t take things easy, he pushed himself and his body to the limit.

Plans should have been in place well before the duo hung it up in January 2018.

Instead, despite a decline from 2015 to 2016, the management pushed forward with the team.

They spent another top 50 pick on an off the ball linebacker, the third in five seasons.

They again neglected to pick up any of the most valuable spots in the NFL: Quarterback, pass protectors, corners, pass rushers instead staying with what they had.

Look at the way the Cardinals have picked under Steve Keim:

Offensive line:
Day 1-2: 3
Day 3: 5

Day 1-2: 1
Day 3: 2

Edge rushers:
Day 1-2: 2
Day 3: 3

Interior Rushers:
Day 1-2: 1
Day 3: 1

Day 1-2: 1
Day 3: 1

Wide receivers:

Day 1-2: 3
Day 3: 3

Linebackers (off ball):
Day 1-2: 3
Day 3: 0

Day 1-2: 2
Day 3: 2

Running Backs:
Day 1-2: 1
Day 3: 4

The Cardinals have spent nine picks in the first three rounds on what most would say are secondary positions. They’ve spent three picks on wide receivers on day two.

They’ve spent three top 45 picks on linebackers, and only one played linebacker in college.

They basically have ignored the most important position in the league, quarterback, until their back was against the wall, while never drafting an edge rusher or cornerback above 58, and the only two they drafted in the first three rounds are Markus Golden and Brandon Williams.

They’ve taken three offensive linemen in the first three rounds. Mason Cole has started as many games as Jonathan Cooper, and is only one full season behind D.J. Humprhies at this point in games played for the Cardinals. Mason Cole was drafted three full years after Hump.

The Cardinals have seemingly tried to build through wide receivers, linebackers and safeties early in the draft.

When you do that for five seasons, ignoring the foundation of the team, this is what you get.

It should not be this surprising that a team put together with youngsters and duct tape is bad... In fact, nearly every national media member said as much.

This team was devoid of experienced high end talent outside of Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson on defense and David Johnson and 35-year old Larry Fitzgerald on offense.

Now, they are needing to rebuild.

It could be a quick one with cash in free agency and high draft picks, but now they have to start getting the picks right.

At this point, there are legitimate question if they can even do that.