This was the fantastic question posed by Kyle Odegard on Twitter yesterday:
Interesting discussion: should Kingsbury adapt to personnel, or should Cardinals change roster to fit his scheme preferences? https://t.co/MAryhEYGkO— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) January 16, 2019
Whether you have listened to the Cardinals’ Underground discussion, or not, what is your answer to this question?
I know what mine is—-
Reshape the offensive roster asap.
If there ever was a year to do that—-this is the year.
With a cache of draft picks—-10 in all—-and the Cardinals owning the first pick in every round, except the 7th, which they turned into a 6th rounder (BA comp from Tampa Bay)—-and $65M in cap space (which can and should be increased with some roster trimmings)—-
The resources are there for the Cardinals to give Kliff Kingsbury the firepower to make his offense dynamic.
But, let’s attend to the defense first—-because a few major additions are needed, but, with a return to the 34 base, the personnel lines up well in a number of positions:
34 Defense Current Depth Chart:
LOLB Haasan Reddick (V. Dora), M. Golden* (UFA) B, Mayowa* (UFA)
LDE Corey Peters (Robert Nkemdiche—IR)
NT Vincent Valentine (Peters, P. Tasini)
RDE Olsen Pierre (R. Gunter* UFA)
ROLB Chandler Jones (Z. Moore, C. Malveaux)
LILB Josh Bynes (C. Gardeck)
RILB Zeke Turner (J. Walker, J. Cash—-IR)
LCB Patrick Peterson (C. Jones, J. Moxey)
SS Budda Baker (Z. Turner, J. Owens—IR)
FS D.J. Swearinger (A. Bethea, R. Ford) Tre’ Boston* (UFA)
RCB Deatrick Nichols (B. Williams)
- 34OLB is Hassan Reddick’s natural position. Can Vance Joseph, who worked the last two years with Von Miller, turn Reddick into an edge rushing dynamo? If he can, and with there being some good depth on the edge with Jones, Reddick, Dora, Moore and Malveaux, maybe the Cardinals can use the #1 pick on a different position.
- Biggest needs: 34DE. if they re-sign Rodney Gunter, he, Corey Peters and Vincent Valentine can all play 34NT, But with Robert Nkemdiche out for a while, adding to the talent and depth at 34 DE/DT is key.
- Biggest needs: CB. With a couple of the Broncos’ best CBs available (bradley Roby and Tramain and with their 2018 coaches in Arizona, it would be a natural fit to sign them
- IF NOT DRAFTING BOSA: OLB/DE Markus Golden or Benson Mayowa—-or——sign UFA OLB/DE Shaq Barrett
- DT Rodney Gunter
- one of the following UFA LBs: D.J. Mosely, Kwon Alexander, K.J. Wright, Jordan Hicks or Denzel Perryman—-and draft an ILB.
- CB Bradley Roby (starter RCB) and Tramaine Brock (nickel)—-both played for Vance Joseph, Marcus Robertson and Greg Williams in Denver—-or make a run at CB Steve Nelson (Chiefs).
- one of the following UFA 34DEs: Margus Hunt, Henry Anderson, Ethan Westbrooks, Allen Bailey or Zach Kerr
Now—-for the offense.
- WR Larry Fitzgerald
- T John Wetzel
Release or Trade:
- TE Jermaine Gresham
- C A.Q. Shipley
- LG Rodger Saffold (73.7 PFF)—-break the bank if you have to—we have to block Aaron Donald, period.
- RT Ja’Wuan James (70.8 PPF) or Bobby Massey (71.6 PFF) (Not Daryl Williams—-we can’t keep signing guys with injury histories).
- WR Golden Tate (71.8 PFF) or Randall Cobb (60.2 PFF—-played under WR coach David Raih)
- TE Jared Cook, Tyler Croft or Luke Willson
- Fill in the need areas on defense through free agency.
- Add LG and RT plus a WR & TE in free agency.
- Draft Air Raid fits early and often. The big question is—-is the arranged marriage between Kliff Kingsbury and Josh Rosen a good one—-or—-would Kingsbury feel more confident in Kyler Murray or another QB?
- If Steve Keim can fill the main needs via free agency, then the Cardinals can be open to taking any player they want in the draft.
- Use the draft, with Kingsbury’s input, to acquire Air Raid offense personnel.