ESPN gives Cardinals ‘D’ offseason regrade, rank Bradford worst signing

Jan 16, 2019, 6:55 AM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford watches the closing moments of an NFL football game from...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford watches the closing moments of an NFL football game from the sideline after being pulled for rookie quarterback Josh Rosen during the second half against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

It is safe to say the disappointing 3-13 finish to the 2018 season for the Arizona Cardinals was not what the team planned for over the past offseason.

Before the season got underway, ESPN’s Mike Sando gave every NFL team a grade for their offseason using a basic A+ to F scale.

At the time, Sando gave the Cardinals a B+ for moves such as filling their head coaching vacancy, selecting QB Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the draft and signing veteran QB Sam Bradford to a one-year deal.

Seven months later, Sando has regraded every team’s offseason, downgrading the Cardinals to a D.

The re-grade takes a huge hit for a range of reasons, starting with the summer DUI arrest and suspension involving general manager Steve Keim. The midseason firing of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and postseason firing of Wilks meant that much of the Cardinals’ 2018 offseason foundation laying was for nothing. Rosen still could be the answer at quarterback, which prevents the re-grade from sinking into the failing range. Many of the other moves, including Sam Bradford’s expensive signing, dragged down the grade in retrospect.

On top of the downgrade, ESPN’s Dan Graziano picked Bradford for his worst free-agent signing of 2018.

The Cardinals knew Bradford’s knee was bad and they signed him anyway to a contract that included $15 million in full guarantees at signing. Bradford played just three games for the Cardinals before rookie Josh Rosen took over as their starter, and the veteran signal-caller was released later in the season.

Bradford threw for 400 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in the three games he played this season before being replaced by Rosen. Bradford was then released by the Cardinals on Nov. 3.

The Cardinals will enter this offseason a little bit differently than last year’s. Last offseason, the Cardinals were the only team to lose both their starting quarterback and head coach. With the signing of Kliff Kingsbury and Rosen set to be the QB for years to come, the Cardinals will have more time to focus on adding talent elsewhere and decide who they will select with the first pick in the NFL Draft.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley throws a pass during the NFL football team's training ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Chip on shoulder, Cardinals QB Trace McSorley can use Friday to impress

Trace McSorley will start with both Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy sidelined on Friday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
13 hours ago
Follow @KellanOlson...
Kellan Olson

Kyler Murray signs extension with Bidwill in latest ‘Cardinals Flight Plan’

The latest episode of "Cardinals Flight Plan" released on Wednesday and profiled a few of the biggest stories in the last few weeks.
2 days ago
Tight end Stephen Anderson #89 of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at Sta...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: TE Stephen Anderson leaning on his versatility

The Arizona Cardinals' tight ends room is about as stacked as it's ever been. So where does that leave a guy like Stephen Anderson?
13 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe....
Tyler Drake

Is that K1? Manny Jones stole Cardinals’ rookie show with Kyler Murray skit

Cardinals DL Manny Jones' impression of Kyler Murray for the rookie talent show on Tuesday had the team doubled over in laughter.
2 days ago
Zaven Collins #25 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns ...
Jake Anderson

Zaven Collins fine-tuning his craft in Year 2 with Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals second-year pro Zaven Collins is still learning the finer details of playing inside linebacker in the NFL.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2...
Tyler Drake

Trio of potential Cardinals starters expected to get some run vs. Bengals

Dennis Gardeck, Marco Wilson and Zaven Collins will all see their fair share of preseason reps against the Bengals on Friday.
2 days ago
ESPN gives Cardinals ‘D’ offseason regrade, rank Bradford worst signing