Arizona Cardinals offseason preview: Key offseason needs in 2021

DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals offseason preview for 2021. Photo from Bleacher Report.
  • The Cardinals face a significant offseason as they look to build a contender
  • Draft, free agency and trade decisions could alter future of the franchise
  • Key offseason needs for Arizona are outlined below

The Arizona Cardinals appear to be a team on the rise in the NFL, with an ascending young quarterback in Kyler Murray, and an improving roster that won three more games than it did a year ago.

The Cardinals play in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Their approach to the offseason will be critical if they want to secure a playoff spot next season.

Arizona Cardinals offseason: Key free agents

Arizona has some very interesting complementary pieces set to hit free agency in a few weeks. Their secondary could be completely revamped if they don’t choose to bring back CB Patrick Peterson, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and CB Jonathan Joseph.

All three players are 31 or older, and likely on the back end of their careers, but provide a stabilizing veteran presence on a young team that needs some older leaders. In addition, the Cardinals play the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams twice each every year, and need a secondary up to the task of stopping both of those teams’ receiver tandems.

RB Kenyan Drake is also going to be an interesting case for Cardinals management, to see how much money they are willing to allocate to a backfield player. WR Larry Fitzgerald, as always, will take the offseason to decide whether he wants to return for another NFL season. If the future Hall of Famer does return in 2021, it will be his 18th season in the league, all with the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals offseason: Positions of need

The Cardinals have become one of the most well rounded teams in the NFL over the past few seasons, but the unit where they had the most trouble this year was on the defensive line.

More specifically, the Cardinals had a tough time stopping the run. Arizona finished last in the NFL in average rushing yards allowed per game, and will need to bolster their defense up the middle, likely with a defensive tackle or defensive ends who are strong in the run game.

The team could have needs at running back and in the secondary if they choose not to re-sign players mentioned in the above section.


Arizona Cardinals 2021 draft picks

R1: 16th overall

R2: 49th overall

R3: 80th overall

R5: 144th overall

R7: 208th overall

Arizona doesn’t have a large compliment of picks to work with in the 2021 NFL Draft, partially because they traded their 4th rounder to the Houston Texans in the deal for DeAndre Hopkins.

But the Cardinals are in an interesting position, since they can decide to make stronger parts of their team even more formidable (receiver, cornerback, linebacker), or opt to address weaknesses on the defensive line. Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore could get a long look from Arizona at 16, and the team could also do their due diligence on fellow Crimson Tide player Najee Harris if they want to move on from Drake.

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About Andrew Pistone 23 Articles
Andrew is a contributor to Franchise Sports, who believes that Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's no look pass while being facemasked against the Las Vegas Raiders was better than any Magic Johnson assist on the fast break.

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