The Cardinals’ season is over after losing to the Panthers on Saturday, but the team has a number of decisions to make with their roster as they approach a critical offseason. The team’s front office will have to make a more than a few of choices on personnel, with a number of players’ statuses uncertain for 2015.
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald and defensive lineman Darnell Dockett both have high cap numbers going into next year and could be asked to take pay cuts to stay with the team, writes Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. The team will also have the opportunity to bring back or move on from free agents Antonio Cromartie, Larry Foote, Tommy Kelly, and Sam Acho.
One of the biggest mysteries will be how the team treats inside linebacker Daryl Washington. Washington could be reinstated from suspension in May but could face a separate suspension for an assault conviction upon his return.
- Poor quarterback play ruined the Cardinals’ year after losing both starter Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton for the season. The team was forced to roll with Ryan Lindley down the stretch. Head coach Bruce Arians does not believe the team will be able to bring in another veteran signal caller in the offseason, citing the move as too expensive, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (via Twitter).
- An important part of the defense that is expected to return is Dockett, writes Weinfuss (via Twitter). Bob McNaman of the Arizona Republic also writes the team plans on bringing Dockett back, despite a cap hit of close to $9MM next season (via Twitter).
- Coach Arians stated that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been requested for interviews with multiple organizations, and he expects his assistant coach to pursue openings in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).
- Arians was extremely complimentary of Bowles, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). “He’s a great teacher, great communicator and players love him,” said Arians. “Very bright guy. He’s soft spoken but a very good motivator and he can get on their asses as good as anybody.”
- Arians also noted that he does not expect to make any other coaching changes this offseason, other than Bowles, according to Weinfuss (via Twitter).