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The Arizona Cardinals’ strong foundation for the future

Arizona Cardinals OTA’s Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Many still believe that the Arizona Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the NFL. I can see why, considering they’re coming off a season where they posted the worst record (3-13) in the NFL.

Fortunately, they do have a pretty strong nucleus of players that will carry this team for years to come. If Kyler Murray pans out, he would be the Cardinals’ franchise quarterback. I, personally, have seen only a handful of players that have his type of athletic ability and accuracy on tape. David Johnson and Christian Kirk have already proven to be young and dynamic playmakers on the offense.

The Cardinals added even more intrigue to their arsenal of weapons after drafting Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson, all of whom are coming off productive seasons in college.

Look at their tight ends. Ricky Seals Jones and free agent acquisition Maxx Williams have all proven to be solid blockers. Now they have to take advantage of their size and athleticism to be reliable pass catchers. The Cardinals added even more youth with the Mr. Irrelevant selection Caleb Wilson.

Veterans Larry Fitzgerald and Charles Clay are key players that will help mentor and develop many of the young offensive players the Cardinals have on their roster.

Take a look at the defense. The Cardinals have two young and atheltic inside linebackers in Jordan Hicks and Haason Reddick. If Hicks can stay healthy and Reddick can continue to progress in his ability to drop back into coverage, things would look great in the interior of the defense. Chandler Jones is one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.

As for the secondary, I believe Patrick Peterson’s future will remain with the Cardinals for many more years to come. The Cardinals finally made a strong effort in finding a cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson with the additions of Robert Alford from free agency and Byron Murphy from the draft. Budda Baker has been tough against the run and can finally play in his natural position at safety.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cardinals extended D.J. Swearinger’s contract after the 2019 season if he can produce like he did in 2018. He is vocal and lights the fire in a defense. He is exactly the type of player the Cardinals need.

This team has a good combination of veterans that will be future Hall of Famers in Fitzgerald, Jones, Peterson, and Terrell Suggs. They also have a strong nucleus of young rising stars such as Kyler Murray, David Johnson, Christian Kirk, and Budda Baker.

Whether the Cardinals will return to the playoffs in the upcoming season is still up in the air but this team has a better roster than a lot of people realize.