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Custom Robert Alford Jersey Large

Three members of the Arizona Cardinals who missed all of last season with injuries will need to get back on track in 2020
The Arizona Cardinals, led by new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, made outstanding progress in 2019. Several new acquisitions by the club’s front office contributed heavily to the optimism that’s surrounding the Cards. There were a trio of pickups from last offseason, however, who suffered injuries that cost them the entire season.

Cornerback Robert Alford, right tackle Marcus Gilbert and wide receiver Hakeem Butler all failed to make it to Arizona’s opening game. All three are on the road to recovery, and are expected to be back with the squad this coming fall. To say that these particular players have something to prove would be putting it lightly.

Alford was brought in to solve the Cardinals long-standing dilemma at the number-two cornerback spot. Unfortunately, a broken tibia that he suffered in August ruined that plan. Alford still has two campaigns left on the three-year, $22.5 million contract he agreed to with the Cards in February of ’19.

Another one of Arizona’s additions from a year ago also got hurt before the regular-season began. Marcus Gilbert, acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, tore an ACL just days before the Cardinals first game. General manager Steve Keim had given up a sixth-round draft pick for the starting right tackle, but got nothing in return for his investment.

A Cards rookie also missed all 16 contests after he was sidelined following a preseason matchup. Hakeem Butler, a sixth-round selection out of Iowa State, ended up on the injured-reserve list with a broken hand. The 6’5, 227 pounder was the second of three wideouts chosen by Keim during last year’s NFL Draft.

NEXT: Cardinals have first round options
Arizona is counting on all three to bounce back from their disappointing setbacks. Alford and Gilbert could assume starting roles, while Butler will get to show what he can do for Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offensive attack. Getting production out of the trio will certainly help the Cardinals to experience success in 2020.

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The Arizona Cardinals front office is bringing back the offensive tackle who’s knee injury cost him the entire 2019 campaign
This past Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals front office made a somewhat surprising move. Marcus Gilbert, an offensive tackle who was acquired in a trade 12 months ago, was brought back on a one-year deal. The 6’6, 330 pounder missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and the general feeling was that the Cards would move on from the injury-prone Gilbert.

There were several reasons to believe that the club would find another way to fill the vacancy at their right tackle post. For one, various ailments had caused Gilbert to miss a bunch of playing time over the past few campaigns. In fact, the 32-year old has appeared in just 25 of a possible 64 games since 2016.

Besides the injury factor, many fans of the Cardinals strongly believed that the organization would look to next month’s NFL Draft for an alternative to Gilbert. There could be as many as four blue-chip offensive tackles for the franchise to choose from when they make their selection in the first round. It’s a group that includes Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr.,Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton.

The fact that the Cards elected to bring back Justin Murray also made the retaining of Gilbert a bit of a head-scratcher. The 26-year old Murray held his own as the squad’s starting right tackle in 2019, and could likely do so again if Arizona really needed him to this coming fall. The $3.75 million that Gilbert will earn with his one-year contract almost guarantees that he’ll get the nod over Murray on the team’s 2020 depth chart.

Perhaps Cardinals general manager Steve Keim is just plain determined to get some payback on the investment he made in Gilbert a year ago. In March of ’19, a sixth-round draft pick was sent to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the veteran’s services. Gilbert’s season-ending knee injury robbed Keim and the Cards of any rewards they could’ve reaped by making the trade.

NEXT: Cardinals obtain another defensive lineman
The presence of Gilbert could certainly make Arizona go in a completely different direction with the draft’s eight-overall selection. Perhaps a player who could help them on the defensive side of the ball will be the choice. We’re now just weeks away from finding out what the Cardinals decision-makers will do with their valuable pick.

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The Arizona Cardinals still have an unsettled tight end room to deal with
Currently the Arizona Cardinals have three tight ends on their roster. Maxx Williams, Dan Arnold, and Darrell Daniels are the only tight ends under contract.

The Cardinals did bring in Charles Clay last season but he is currently not on the roster. He is a free agent but has not yet signed with any team. Would the Cardinals bring him back?

It is possible but the Cardinals have been fairly quiet about the position. Tight end proved to not be an essential part to the 2019 offense under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.

It would seem Williams isn’t going anywhere. Arnold played well in his short time with the team at the end of the 2019 season. He played in three games in December, grabbing six receptions and two touchdowns.

Despite the lower usage of the position, it is still important the Cardinals have tight ends they can count on. It is still hard to imagine them sticking with just these three.

Williams caught just 15 passes for 202-yards and a touchdown. In case you were still interested in seeing Clay come back, he just 18 receptions for 237-yards and one touchdown.

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That’s 30 receptions and two touchdowns from their top two tight ends from last season. If they do make any more additions, look for one to possibly be drafted.

The Cardinals could go into next season with just three tight ends, which could be a possibility given the number of receivers that could fight for a roster spot in camp and preseason. Still, it is hard to see a Williams/Arnold one, two going into 2020.

NEXT: If the Cardinals didn’t play in 2020
Williams is fun to watch. Last season though was the first time he played in all 16 games of a season since being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. He will be around for the next two seasons though but needs help.

Custom A.J. Richardson Jersey Large

After two weeks the Arizona Cardinals have made some moves on offense, but most importantly they have added to what was a good offense in 2019.

They have nearly every starter returning right now, outside of the center position and have upgraded at wide receiver like few expected to be possible.

Let’s see where the depth chart lies after the first two weeks of free agency.

QB – Kyler Murray, Brett Hundley, Drew Anderson, Chris Streveler

RB – Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds, D.J. Foster

WR – Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella, A.J. Richardson

WR – DeAndre Hopkins, Trent Sherfield, Hakeem Butler

WR – Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, Johnnie Dixon

TE – Maxx Willaims, Dan Arnold, Darrell Daniels

LT – D.J. Humphries, Joshua Miles

LG – Justin Pugh, Sam Jones

C – Mason Cole, Lamont Gaillard

RG – J.R. Sweezy, Max Garcia

RT – Justin Murray, Marcus Gilbert, Brett Toth

At this point, you have to be comfortable going into the season knowing you can improve at a couple of positions, but there is nothing that screams “HELP!”.

Tight end and right tackle seem like the easiest place to slide in a new player and give even better depth to the team overall.

Custom D.J. Foster Jersey Large

The Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday they have agreed to terms with two players, one of whom is returning after being on the team last season.

Defensive lineman Trevon Coley and running back D.J. Foster each agreed to one-year deals for undisclosed amounts.

Coley, 25, played seven games for the Colts in 2019 and played 31 games in two seasons with the Cleveland Brows prior to that. He had six tackles with Indianapolis last season and 80 tackles in two seasons with the Browns to go with two passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks.

Coley came into the NFL out of Florida Atlantic as an undrafted free agent with Baltimore and was on the Redskins and Browns practice squads after that.

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Foster, 26, returns to a running backs room that has no problems making headlines lately. The Cardinals recently traded running back David Johnson to Houston in a deal that brought receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the desert, and Arizona also re-upped with Kenyan Drake for one season after using the transition tag on him.

The depth chart at that position also includes Chase Edmonds.

Foster played six games last year and missed some time with an injury, but all of his snaps came on special teams. In 2017, Foster had a career-best 152 yards from scrimmage, 133 of those being receiving yards.

Foster had nearly 5,000 yards from scrimmage in his four-year career at Arizona State, split fairly evenly between rushing and receiving.

Custom Al Baker Jersey Large

The Arizona Cardinals are now only 13 days away from their regular season opener against the Detroit Lions. What stats can we find in team history to go along with the No. 13?

For one, the record for wins in a season is 13, which the Cardinals accomplished in 2015.

Five players have scored 13 total touchdowns in a season — David Johnson in 2015, Larry Fitzgerald in 2009, Terry Metcalf in 1975, Donny Anderson in 1973 and Macarthur Lane in 1970.

All 13 of Fitzgerald’s touchdowns in 2009 were receiving touchdowns. He is the only player to have 13 in a season.

Jeff Blake threw 13 touchdown passes while with the Cardinals.

Four different players threw 13 interceptions.

Charley Johnson led 13 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career.

Ronald Moore had 13 career rushing touchdowns.

Joe Childress had 13 career receiving touchdowns between 1956-1965.

Tight end Stephen Spach had 13 catches for the Cardinals between 2008-2010.

Al Baker had 13 sacks in 1983 and Chandler Jones had 13 last season.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had 13 career interceptions with the Cardinals.

A player has caught 13 passes in a game seven times. Larry Fitzgerald has done it three times. Anquan Boldin did it twice. Frank Sanders and Larry Centers are the others to do it.

We will return with stats for No. 12 tomorrow.
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Custom Kyler Murray Jersey Large

Larry Fitzgerald sat in front of his locker last week, giving his thoughts about his rookie quarterback, and the first thing the veteran wide receiver mentioned wasn’t Kyler Murray’s rocket arm or speed.

“The first thing that pops out to you, how intelligent he is,” Fitzgerald said. “He knows the system better than we do.”

That notion brought a smile to Murray’s face Tuesday, after the Cardinals had their first practice of their mandatory minicamp. Veterans don’t necessarily have to be around all the time during the voluntary part of the offseason, Murray noted.

“Me being there every day, studying it every day, yes, I do know it better,” Murray finally acknowledged, before adding, “but that’s my job.”

Murray also knows it better because Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme has several characteristics of the offense Murray ran in college at Oklahoma, and the offense that Murray and current teammate Christian Kirk ran at Texas A&M (where Murray played before transferring.)

As the Cardinals come to the end of their offseason work following the minicamp this week, Murray has gotten the maximum amount of prep as the team’s starting quarterback. Kingsbury said there was “some truth” to Fitzgerald’s Murray hypothesis because of Murray’s history. The coach also sees a quarterback growing in his NFL comfortability, and teammates who know understand how Murray prefers to operate.

“I think he’s right where we want him to be,” Kirk said.
Fitzgerald did praise the “catchable ball” Murray throws, but even as a receiver, couldn’t help but emphasize Murray’s speed and athleticism if a play goes sideways.

“He has the ultimate weapon in the exit button he has,” Fitzgerald said. “That’ll be a dimension we haven’t had here. I’ve never played with a quarterback that explosive when things break down.”

Murray is going to make mistakes. He has talked about the tighter windows and defenders seemingly knowing what the play will be prior to the snap, and gambles can backfire more often at this level, as Murray found when he was intercepted by Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson last week.

“I like his attitude because he’s going to take chances, and this is the time to do it,” Kingsbury said. “See what you can get away with – if you want to go after Pat (Peterson) a couple of times – that’s what it takes to learn.”

Murray said he isn’t worried about making mistakes, because he know that he will at times. The former first-round pick in Major League Baseball is well versed in such things, given that a star baseball player can still “fail” seven of every 10 at-bats.

Murray also noted he had some struggles as a freshman at A&M, which he dealt with.
“You don’t hope to fail, but that’s part of it,” Murray said. “If it happens, I’ll know how to handle it.

“I’m not waking up thinking, ‘I can’t wait to fail,’ ” he added.

Murray’s understanding of the offense should help minimize the problems. Kirk – who said with a smile he could “hold his own” with Murray in terms of knowing the offense right now – sees a quarterback in a perfect situation heading into training camp.

“This offense, Kliff has done a good job of simplifying it, compared to last year when you had a hundred million words you had to say before you called a play,” Kirk said. “You have a lot to think about, especially being a rookie quarterback. It makes Kyler more comfortable, and that’s when you play your best football, when you aren’t thinking.”

EXTRA POINT

The Cardinals brought in undrafted rookie quarterback Taryn Christion for a tryout during minicamp. Christion, who had signed post-draft with the Seahawks before getting released, played at South Dakota State.