One of the things I always look at when reading what national pundits have to say about the Arizona Cardinals is how they identify the talent in Arizona.
Outside of DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and Kyler Murray, and for some Budda Baker, who do they consider the core, key pieces or best players for the Cardinals?
Bleacher Report looked at players each team could not afford to lose after 2021, meaning players who are going to be free agents in 2022 and they came back with an interesting thought.
“By no means is Christian Kirk the top target in the Arizona Cardinals offense, but the Cards have to consider that Larry Fitzgerald is gone (and 37), A.J. Green is 32, and DeAndre Hopkins and Kirk are the only other well-established options for a team that loves to spread the wealth.
The 24-year-old 2018 second-round pick has put up more than 500 yards in each of his first three seasons and is coming off a career-best six-touchdown campaign in which he dropped just two of the 79 passes thrown his way.
However, his rookie deal expires next offseason, and unless Andy Isabella or Rondale Moore explode this year, they’d be smart to try to keep him around.”
I feel like there’s an argument to be made for Kirk, but with the lack of pass rush, lack of cornerback depth, it seems like you could make a stronger argument for Chandler Jones or even Malcolm Butler.
Kirk has been a good draft pick, but his inability to stay healthy and consistent has been his biggest issue.
Now, he looks like he will be the main slot weapon, which is what he should have been coming out of college, but will he be able to hold off Moore or stay healthy for 16?
Those are the main questions he has to answer if he is truly to be the player the Cardinals can’t afford to lose.