It’s another lost season in the desert, and it looks as though more players from the glory days could be on their way out. Rebuilds are all about patience though, and that has to be kept in mind if you’re a Cardinals fan. There is no franchise saving quarterback coming in the draft, and I’m not all that sure they will find an instant fix in free agency or through the trade market.
That being said, quarterback is just one of many problems with this team and it’s going to take a lot more than a franchise quarterback to turn things around in the desert.
By the time they find a quarterback and build a competitive team, you have to wonder if father time will have caught up with Adrian Wilson, and Darnell Dockett. They have both been great players for the Arizona Cardinals in years past, but Dockett is starting to wear out his welcome, and Wilson’s playing time is already starting to go down.
Keeping Dockett would be a costly, unnecessary, and ineffectual move at best. Since he signed his mega deal he just hasn’t been the same. His stats have been trending downwards ever since he hit the bank, and this year has been no exception. As a matter of fact it’s been his worst. You would have to think there is even more uncertainty with the aging defensive linemen if Ken Whisenhunt returns next season. They’ve had, what you might call, a six-figure-fine-worthy disagreement in philosophy, and you have to wonder how much either party would like to spend another year with the other.
The question of whether or not to keep Adrian Wilson, is a little less obvious. He has been a widely loved figure by Cardinals fans, a 5 time pro-bowler, relatively cheap, and all around class act. Unfortunately for the aging Cardinals defender, the aforementioned positives might not be enough for him to stay in Arizona for another season. His stats, although not very telling of a player in decline, don’t account for his lost step and decreased role in the defense. He is also far from the physically intimidating force in the backfield that he once was. Taking this into account, one has to wonder if he’ll be back. I think he should be, even if his role is diminished. He’s given his heart and soul to this franchise, been a great leader for the defense, doesn’t cost a lot, and is still productive. If anybody deserves to retire a Cardinal on this defense, it’s Adrian Wilson.
There’s a lot of young, burgeoning talent on this Arizona defense. How much of this do you want to augment with expensive, declining assets that take away time from other, younger players? That is the question facing Cardinals management this off season, and a lot of these decisions will dependent on who is coaching this squad next year. My bet, expect changes aplenty, and a lengthy rebuild to begin.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV