• Free agency recap: The Cardinals did little to upgrade their roster via free agency, opting to let their top two free agents — DI Zach Allen and CB Byron Murphy Jr. — sign elsewhere.
• Best move of the offseason: Instead of standing pat and taking Paris Johnson Jr. with the third overall pick, they first traded back to 12th overall, acquiring the 33rd overall pick and Houston’s first- and third-round pick in 2024, before giving up the 33rd pick to move back up to No. 6 for Johnson.
• Outlook for 2023: The most interesting aspect of the Cardinals' season is likely to be how they handle Murray’s return. They don’t appear to have a roster ready to win now and could be in a significant hole by the time he is ready to return to action.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
As the dust settles on the 2023 NFL offseason, it's time to assess how each team fared in their quest to improve their roster.
Recapping blockbuster trades and high-profile signings to shrewd draft selections, PFF offers an in-depth assessment of all 32 NFL teams, shedding light on the potential impact these moves may have on their fortunes in the upcoming campaign.
For more information on each team's draft selections and offseason moves, download the PFF draft guide today!
ARIZONA CARDINALS OFFSEASON GRADE: A+
2023 NFL Free Agency
|FA signings||FA losses|
|T Kelvin Beachum||DI Zach Allen (Denver)|
|G Will Hernandez||CB Byron Murphy Jr. (Minnesota)|
|LB Kyzir White (from Philadelphia)||G Justin Pugh (Free Agent)|
Free agency recap: The Cardinals did little to upgrade their roster via free agency, opting to let their top two free agents — DI Zach Allen and CB Byron Murphy Jr. — sign elsewhere.
New addition Kyzir White was PFF's 96th-ranked free agent. He has earned five straight 60.0-plus coverage grades and racked up 56 stops in run defense over the past two seasons, the 12th among off-ball linebackers.
2023 Draft class
R1 (6): T Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
R2 (41): EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU
R3 (72): CB Garrett Williams, Syracuse
R3 (94): WR Michael Wilson, Stanford
R4 (122): G Jon Gaines II, UCLA
R5 (139): QB Clayton Tune, Houston
R5 (168): LB Owen Pappoe, Auburn
R6 (180): CB Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville
R6 (213): DI Dante Stills, West Virginia
2023 NFL Draft recap
Rumors of Arizona’s fixation with Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. were clearly well-founded, but luckily for the Cards, they were able to have their cake and eat it too.
Instead of standing pat and taking Johnson with the third overall pick, they first traded back to 12th overall, acquiring the 33rd overall pick and Houston’s first- and third-round pick in 2024 before giving up the 33rd pick to move back up to No. 6 (with Detroit) for Johnson.
Better yet, the Cardinals could be the team to watch ahead of the 2024 draft, as they could potentially hold two high-value first-round picks.
Arizona’s best pick on Day 2 was edge defender BJ Ojulari, who tallied an impressive 127 total pressures in three seasons at LSU. On Day 3, the Cards found tremendous value in the sixth round with Louisville CB Kei’Trel Clark, PFF’s 129th-ranked prospect in the class.
Best move of the offseason: The Trade
With QB Kyler Murray unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2023 season, the Cardinals appear content to write off the 2023 campaign altogether and restart with a big splash in next year’s draft. Houston’s roster is extremely young and thin on talent, which could lead to a top-10 pick.
Whether the Cardinals decide to move on from Kyler and tap into the 2024 QB group remains to be seen, but regardless, all eyes will be on Arizona come next April.
Remaining team needs: DI, IOL
The defensive line lost its top player to free agency (Allen), and what remains is a collection of players who graded well below average last year. Likely starting nose tackle Leki Fotu posted a run-defense grade of just 37.9 in 2022, and fellow interior defender Jonathan Ledbetter was not much better at 46.4.
While Paris Johnson Jr. could be initially inserted at left guard this season, he is almost certain to be the future starting left tackle. The Cardinals could also use an upgrade at center, as Hjalte Froholdt’s 96.1 pass-blocking efficiency rating last season ranked 37th among the 39 centers who played at least 200 pass-blocking snaps.
While the team has a little over $16 million in cap space, a portion of this will need to be used to sign the rookie class, and the team may not be particularly interested in making any free-agent signings to help the team in the short term.
Early position battle to watch: CB Antonio Hamilton Sr. vs. CB Garrett Williams
This season is all about the youth movement. Last season, Hamilton showed some flashes with six forced incompletions and nine stops on 293 passing plays for the Cardinals, while 2023 third-round pick Garrett Williams will look to stake his claim to a starting job immediately. Williams' 2022 campaign for Syracuse was cut short due to an ACL injury, but recent reports indicate that he should be ready in time for training camp. He recorded two interceptions and three forced incompletions for the Orangemen before his injury in Week 9.
The most interesting aspect of the Cardinals' season is likely to be how they handle Murray’s return. They don’t appear to have a roster ready to win now and could be in a significant hole by the time he is ready to return to action.
Arizona is a double threat to “win” the first overall pick in 2024’s draft, as both the Texans and Cardinals appear capable of owning the worst record in the league in 2023.