Looking Ahead: Arizona Cardinals 2026 Roster

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kerouac9

kerouac9

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Generous to have Trent Williams on the Niners in 2026. He'll be 38 years old.

That contract was constructed knowing he was unlikely to get close to the end while making sure he stayed with the team.

If he's playing, he's playing for the 49ers. The statement was literally about who San Francisco and other teams had under contract.
 

Garthshort

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The Cards have 58 players under contract for the 2024 season. This is good; last offseason GM Monti Ossenfort didn't have enough players to fill his roster before free agency even if you added in walking-dead players like WR DeAndre Hopkins. This year the Cards could have a lively spring practice while drafting all the players with disclosed and undisclosed injuries they like.

You don't have to scratch very deep in the 2024 roster before getting to the 2023 draft class (Paris Johnson, Jr has the seventh-highest cap number on the team) or sub-replacement level warm bodies (only 23 players have a cap number greater than the $1.05 million of Naquan Jones, Toney Jones, Roy Lopez, Andre Chachere, Michael Carter, Phil Hoskins, and Jeff Smith). This situation isn't unusual -- most teams have a core of players that make a lot of money and a constellation of draft picks and minimum salary veterans surrounding them. The relative paucity of core talent of this roster really sets the Cards apart from the vast majority of the NFL.

Let's look ahead to 2026 -- when the Cards currently have Kyler Murray, Jalen Thompson, Elijah Higgins, and their 2023 draft class under contract. For comparison's sake, the Bengals have QB Joe Burrow, OT Orlando Brown, and LB Logan Wilson under contract, likely to be joined by Ja'Marr Chase in the next few weeks or months. San Francisco has Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Javon Hargrave, Nick Bosa, Mitch Wishnowsky, and Jake Brendel under contract, along with voided years for Deebo Samuel, Arik Armstead, George Kittle, Charvarious Ward, Christian McCaffery, and others. It'll all be worth it for them if they win the Super Bowl in the next two years.

One imagines that two or three members of the Cards' 2024 free agency class are likely going to join Kyler, Thompson, Higgins, most of the 2023 draft class, and much of the 2024 draft class. Here are the players on the roster today I expect to still be hanging around two years out (current FA year):

Krys Barnes (2024)
Greg Dortch (ERFA 2024)
Blake Gillikin (2024)
Kyzir White (2025)

Brutal. Two off-ball linebackers, a fourth wide receiver, and a punter. Salvation probably isn't coming through free agency. Monti is going to have to draft difference-makers at high-impact positions, and a lot of them.
Your wish is Monti's command.
 
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kerouac9

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Yeah I'm not sure of the point. Most teams right now will have 3-4 players under contract in 2026.
I provided evidence of what many teams are doing. "Most teams" is something you're going to have to investigate and substantiate for yourself. Otherwise it's more fake news.

In case you lost the thread here, these are my main points:
The relative paucity of core talent of this roster really sets the Cards apart from the vast majority of the NFL.

One imagines that two or three members of the Cards' 2024 free agency class are likely going to join Kyler, Thompson, Higgins, most of the 2023 draft class, and much of the 2024 draft class.

Salvation probably isn't coming through free agency. Monti is going to have to draft difference-makers at high-impact positions, and a lot of them.

Skipping free agency in 2023 and hollowing out the roster have left this team alarmingly thin coming off back-to-back seasons resulting in Top 5 picks in the NFL draft. Monti has to start hitting home runs in the draft.
 

BritCard

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I provided evidence of what many teams are doing. "Most teams" is something you're going to have to investigate and substantiate for yourself. Otherwise it's more fake news.

In case you lost the thread here, these are my main points:






Skipping free agency in 2023 and hollowing out the roster have left this team alarmingly thin coming off back-to-back seasons resulting in Top 5 picks in the NFL draft. Monti has to start hitting home runs in the draft.

Yes, I understand it was a convoluted way of saying we suck. I'm just not sure why you chose 3 seasons into the future.

Had we "not skipped out on 2023 free agency" the result would likely be the same. Because most FA deals are 1-3 year deals. Which would have been over by 2026. In fact, of all the hundreds of deals signed last offseason only 16 were more than 3 years. In 2022 it was 8.

So if your point was that Monti hasn't done enough in his 1 season to turn around years of keim failure I'd say it was a bad point, and if it's that he needs to do more, well I'm sure he knows.

But considering there is 3 drafts and 3 FA periods between now and then I'll not get too concerned about the state of the 2026 roster.
 

Card'em

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Skipping free agency in 2023 and hollowing out the roster have left this team alarmingly thin coming off back-to-back seasons resulting in Top 5 picks in the NFL draft. Monti has to start hitting home runs in the draft.

Do we know that he didn't hit a home run in last year's draft? It's way too early to label last year's draft good or bad. Let's take a look after next season or better yet, after the third season. I saw enough potential to think it just might have been a very good draft. Time will tell.
 
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kerouac9

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Do we know that he didn't hit a home run in last year's draft? It's way too early to label last year's draft good or bad. Let's take a look after next season or better yet, after the third season. I saw enough potential to think it just might have been a very good draft. Time will tell.
Well, I mean you kind of know that you've hit a home run shortly after making contact with the ball. That's how home runs worse.

After three seasons most guys are angling for free agency.

It's not too early to say that we didn't get much from the 2023 draft class's rookie season.
 

Totally_Red

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Do we know that he didn't hit a home run in last year's draft? It's way too early to label last year's draft good or bad. Let's take a look after next season or better yet, after the third season. I saw enough potential to think it just might have been a very good draft. Time will tell.
When Houston's draft picks in all rounds ended up being #27 it really hurt.

This year's draft can and should be better with a Full offseason with the front office and coaching staff in place.
 

Card'em

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It's not too early to say that we didn't get much from the 2023 draft class's rookie season.

Doubling down are we? I'll call your bet and raise you by saying that I think the Cards had a good draft and possibly a very good one. Again, this is pure speculation because it's way to early to know with any degree of certainty.
 
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kerouac9

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Doubling down are we? I'll call your bet and raise you by saying that I think the Cards had a good draft and possibly a very good one. Again, this is pure speculation because it's way to early to know with any degree of certainty.
I guess. Are you saying that the 2023 draft class had an impactful rookie season? I graded them all from my perspective in one of Harry's threads; I'm not going to do it again here. PJJ was the best guy playing B+ football at the second-most important position on the offensive line.

Pretty average draft overall. Not going to get this franchise out of the deep hole they started in, which is my whole point.
 

Mulli

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I guess. Are you saying that the 2023 draft class had an impactful rookie season? I graded them all from my perspective in one of Harry's threads; I'm not going to do it again here. PJJ was the best guy playing B+ football at the second-most important position on the offensive line.

Pretty average draft overall. Not going to get this franchise out of the deep hole they started in, which is my whole point.
Manage your expectations, broseph
 

Chopper0080

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Personally, I think you should give draft classes more time than just a rookie season. How many have an impactful rookie season? I would say not too many, from my inferences of your posts. Just my opinion.
No one is saying it is a bust class...but also nothing stood out as special in year 1 either. Several people stated the tank plan had a narrow margin for success...this is what we were talking about. You can't gut a roster, forfeit players of 4 mil in free agency, and have mediocre drafts, if you have plans on making the playoffs.
 

unseenaz

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No one is saying it is a bust class...but also nothing stood out as special in year 1 either. Several people stated the tank plan had a narrow margin for success...this is what we were talking about. You can't gut a roster, forfeit players of 4 mil in free agency, and have mediocre drafts, if you have plans on making the playoffs.
How many players from our great 2004 draft class stood out as special in year 1?
 
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