It was my greatest hope this off-season that Steve Keim would focus his free agent signings on players in their mid twenties (25-27) who are earning their second contracts and heading into their prime.
Kudos to Kiem and the team’s pro personnel scouts for doing precisely that.
With Chandler Jones recently turning 30 and Patrick Peterson a couple of months away from his 30th birthday, they join Larry Fitzgerald, J.R. Sweezy, Corey Peters, Robert Alford, Chris Banjo and Andy Lee as the 8 players in their 30s on the current roster.
Now that head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the majority of his staff are heading into their 2nd season, they have a very specific idea of the kind of players they want. It appears that Steve Keim has welcomed the coaches’ input and has been acting arduously on their behalf.
This kind of communication between the GM and the coaches is very encouraging. This feels like a team effort we haven’t quite seen in previous years.
Here, have a look at the 2 deep roster and look at how the Cardinals’ youth stacks up:
Offense (24 players):
QB: Kyler Murray (22); Brett Hundley (26)
RB: Kenyan Drake (26); Chase Edmonds (23)
TE: Maxx Williams (25); Dan Arnold (25)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (36); Hakeem Butler (23)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (27); KeeSean Johnson (23)
WR: Christian Kirk (23); Andy Isabella (23)
LT: D.J. Humphries (26); Joshua Miles (24)
LG: Justin Pugh (29); Max Garcia (28)
C: Mason Cole (23); Lamont Gaillard (24)
RG: J.R. Sweezy (30); Sam Jones (24)
RT: Justin Murray (26); Brett Toth (23)
WC: Chris Streveler (25); Trent Sherfield (24)
Defense (22 players):
SAM OLB: Devon Kennard (28); Haason Reddick (25)
LDE: Zach Allen (22); Jonathan Bullard (26)
NT: Corey Peters (31); Miles Brown (22)
RDE: Jordan Phillips (27); Michael Dogbe (23)
JACK OLB: Chandler Jones (30); Kylie Fitts (25)
MIKE ILB: Jordan Hicks (27): Dennis Gardeck (25)
WILL ILB: De’Vondre Campbell (26); Tanner Vallejo (25)
LCB: Patrick Peterson (29); Byron Murphy (22)
SS: Jalen Thomson (21); Charles Washington (27)
FS: Budda Baker (24); Deionte Thompson (23)
RCB: Robert Alford (31); Chris Jones (24)
Special Teams (6 players):
K Zane Gonzalez (24)
P Andy Lee (37); Ryan Winslow (25)
LS: Aaron Brewer (29)
ST: Zeke Turner (23); Chris Banjo (30)
I don’t know about you (please chime in), but I find this influx of youthful depth very impressive. If I were an NFL coach, I would very excited to get to work with this roster. And the 2020 NFL Draft is yet to come.
If the coaches manifest the patience, confidence and determination to develop the youth, then the Cardinals will be building a strong foundation for sustained success.