With Terrell Suggs Waived, What’s Next For The Arizona Cardinals?

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It wasn’t that long ago when the Cardinals were 3-3-1 and looking like a sneaky playoff contender. Two months later and Arizona hasn’t won a single game since then and the team’s play has been mediocre since that three game winning streak.

Now, the team released veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday with head coach Kliff Kingsbury saying the two sides mutually agreed to the decision. With three games left and another losing season imminent for the Cardinals, what’s next?

The first and more important task the Cardinals need to focus on is making sure rookie quarterback Kyler Murray makes it out of this season healthy and doesn’t regress. In the Cardinals’ last two games, Murray played poorly, throwing four interceptions and scoring three total touchdowns. During those two games, the defense gave 57 points while the offense scored 24. He’s been getting beaten up behind a middling offensive line and he’s getting hit running as well.

This isn’t to say the Cardinals should wrap Murray up in bubble wrap and keep him away from football for the rest of the season. These next three games are still vital for his growth and to end on a high note would mean a lot for his progress. What the team, specifically Kingsbury, need to do is help Murray get out of this tough stretch.

The team can do this in numerous ways, whether it’s using the running game more to keep the defense honest, calling quick passing plays early to get Murray in a rhythm or by simply winning. This is undoubtedly the worst stretch of football Murray has been a part of as he was a winner throughout his time in high school and college. Murray does have the swagger and talent to change the culture and create a winning cycle in Arizona, you don’t want this to be a norm for him. A strong performance against the Browns is just what the team needs to get it together.

There’s not a lot the team can do, given how much time is left in the season. The team needs to focus on the future and developing the younger players in order to build for the future. Again, I’m not suggesting the team should throw games away for a higher draft pick. The team has plenty of veterans who could get a decent haul in the trade market.

Players like Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones could be traded in the offseason to help the team stockpile picks in the future drafts and allow younger players more playing time. That being said, the Cardinals have plenty of veterans who can still provide for the team, so it might be a bit of an overreaction to trade key contributors. It’d be even worse to do so when there’s no clear replacement for that player. 

Jones is an interesting player as he’s perhaps the most productive defensive player on the team but the team isn’t built to get the most out of him. Unless the team immediately turns into a contender, Jones will be wasting his prime away with a rebuilding team. Peterson demanded a trade last year and though both sides publicly want to stay together, Arizona might be tempted to see what’s available via trade talks.

The Cardinals will have plenty of cap space next year to build off of the results from this season. The team can add depth to a secondary that’s lacking in it, a top-flight receiver that could provide help to a young group and help to an offensive and defensive line that hasn’t played so hot.

With three games left and a losing record secured, the team needs to take this time to decide what’s the best course of action for the future. The owner, Michael Bidwill, needs to look at his front office and figure out if this is the group he wants to keep for this vital offseason. He also needs to look at this roster and decide what’s next for the veterans on it.