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Reactions to The Athletic’s 10 Predictions for the 2020 Arizona Cardinals

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In yesterday’s Cardinals’ related article on The Athletic, Scott Bordow makes 10 predictions for 2020.

https://theathletic.com/1500539/2020/01/02/a-500-record-that-and-other-predictions-for-the-cardinals-in-2020/?source=twittered

Here are my immediate reactions:

1. Arizona will finish 8-8. You are being very realistic---but hopefully the coaches and players have higher aspirations.

2. Kenyan Drake will rush for over 1,000 yards. Drake will want too much money as demonstrated in Seattle when he made the 80 yard TD all about him.

3. Arizona will re-sign D.J. Humphries. DJH wants to be paid top 5 tackle money---which he doesn’t deserve both by his play (which has been good, but not great) and his injury history. But you’re probably right, Keim will give it to him—-which would signify the 1st time that Keim has re-signed one of his 1st round picks—-but also the 3rd time Keim has re-signed one of his draft picks (Mathieu and Johnson)—-and in all 3 cases to players who have had multiple season-ending injuries.

4. Larry Fitzgerald will return for his 17th season. Fitz will very much likely return, but if he plays for a lower salary, maybe 9-7 or 10-6 becomes more possible, because it would give the Cardinals a chance to add another key free agent at a position of imminent need. If Fitz truly wants a second shot at the Lombardi, he has to pull a Tom Brady and help the Cardinals add as many key pieces as possible.

5. David Johnson will be traded to Tampa Bay. BA will most likely fall in love with a RB at the Combine (he always studies the speed and quickness of the RBs and WRs as a top priority)---the RB pool this year is 2 rounds deep. BA covets speed and, let’s face it, DJ has gotten foot heavy.

6. Cardinals will use top pick on a wide receiver. You may be right about WR at #8, but a dynamic RB like Travis Etienne or J.K. Dobbins (with a trade down to add more picks) might have more value in Kingsbury’s NFL offense. Plus, the WR pool in this year’s draft is 3 rounds deep. If the Cardinals sign one of the top UFA WRs like Amari Cooper, A.J. Green or Robby Anderson, then we will know they are not honed in on a WR at #8.

7. TE Dan Arnold will be a fantasy sleeper. Good call on TE Dan Arnold. He can help put the romance back into the Cardinals’ red zone offense. In addition, The great thing about Arnold is that in practice he can help the secondary begin to become more skilled at covering TEs.

8. Patrick Peterson will play out his contract. With Keim in charge, he would be happy to see Patrick Peterson play out his contract, especially with Keim knowing he has the 2021 hostage tag at his disposal in order to hold on to Peterson as long as possible---but don’t be surprised if Peterson holds out of training camp for a new deal (hard to imagine that with his guaranteed money gone that Peterson will risk playing without guarantees)---which may force Keim to re-sign Peterson to a 3rd contract, or finally, to orchestrate a trade.

9. Cardinals will be more in the national spotlight (prime time games). 100% correct---look at how many prime time games Mayfield and the Browns got this year? Cards will likely get 2-3.

10. Budda Baker is rewarded (with a new contract). Keim got burned on the last two rookie contracts he ripped up after 3 years: Tyrann Mathieu and David Johnson. With the f-tag in 2021 as possible insurance for keeping Budda, Keim would be smart to wait---but, recent history suggests that, you are correct---he won’t. At least this time, Budda won’t be coming off a season ending injury---and Budda doesn’t appear to be a “steal from the Cardinals” type of player. But then again, neither did Honey Badger.

These are my reactions—-let’s hear yours.

Thanks to Scott Bordow, who is doing an excellent job for The Athletic.