ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals have contract decisions aplenty over next 2 free agency periods

Jan 19, 2022, 4:19 PM | Updated: 4:43 pm
Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Ram...
Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at SoFi Stadium on January 17, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have an abundance of contract decisions to make in the next two free agency periods.

After being eliminated from the playoffs by the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round on Monday night, 25 players who played regularly are now left without a contract for the 2022 season.

And if you look to which Cardinals are going into next season on a contract year, it’s clear that decisions will have to be made all the way at the top from owner Michael Bidwill.

That’s because in addition to the over 20 players with one year now left on their deal, general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury are also entering the final seasons of their respective contracts.

And although QB Kyler Murray technically is going into the final (fourth) year of his contract, the Cardinals could still activate his fifth-year rookie option before having to shell out whatever the going rate for franchise quarterbacks will be by then.

Some of the bigger names on the list of impending free agents in March include running backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds, wide receivers A.J. Green and Christian Kirk, tight end Zach Ertz, linebackers Chandler Jones and Dennis Gardeck and cornerback Robert Alford.

Looking ahead to guys going into next season on a contract year, some of those names feature defensive linemen J.J. Watt, Jordan Phillips and Zach Allen, linebackers Jordan Hicks, Devon Kennard and Markus Golden and safety Jalen Thompson. There’s also cornerback Byron Murphy, wide receiver Andy Isabella and kicker Matt Prater.

But perhaps the most concerning from a roster standpoint is the fact that four of the five starting offensive linemen this season only have one more year remaining on their deals. That’s center Rodney Hudson, tackles D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum and guard Justin Pugh.

Below is a full list of Cardinals who regularly played this season and will either be free agents next month or in 2023:

2022

QB: Colt McCoy

RB: James Conner, Chase Edmonds, Jonathan Ward

WR: A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Antoine Wesley

TE: Zach Ertz, Maxx Williams, Darrell Daniels, Demetrius Harris

OL: Max Garcia

DL: Corey Peters, Jack Crawford, Michael Dogbe

LB: Chandler Jones, Dennis Gardeck, Ezekiel Turner

CB: Robert Alford, Kevin Peterson

S: Chris Banjo, Charles Washington

P: Andy Lee

LS: Aaron Brewer

2023

GM: Steve Keim

HC: Kliff Kingsbury

WR: Andy Isabella

OL: Rodney Hudson, D.J. Humphries, Kelvin Beachum, Justin Pugh, Justin Murray, Marcus Henry, Sean Harlow, Joshua Miles

DL: J.J. Watt, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen

LB: Jordan Hicks, Devon Kennard, Markus Golden, Tanner Vallejo

CB: Byron Murphy

S: Deointe Thompson, Jalen Thompson

K: Matt Prater

LS: Aaron Brewer

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Cardinals have contract decisions aplenty over next 2 free agency periods