3 pros and 3 cons of graduating from mandatory mini-camp

With mandatory small camp over and the (officially) beginning of the NFL offseason, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of what has been taken from small camp and how it relates to the Cardinals’ upcoming NFL season.

We’ll start with the positives:

#1. No mods for Kyler Murray…but no mind either

Kyler’s agent and Kyler himself initiated a difficult external process for the team by deleting the famous Instagram as well as a letter to the organization requesting a new deal.

The Cardinals’ front office responded (courtesy of veteran reporter Chris Mortenson) and sensed for some time that a rift might be imminent.

Currently? Murray’s biggest fear is simply that he hasn’t spoken to reporters like the other 31 quarterbacks have…not if he’s going to show up, participate or pull another wildcard.

Kent Somers has indicated that you’d like to see Murray do what other QBs have done, and some Cardinals fans have pointed out how Murray has been dragged by the Arizona media questioning his body language and ability to be a QB franchisor at times for some reason. Why didn’t he talk to the media.

Overall, I think while it’s good that the Murray and Arizona camp are talking like the big guys now, there are good points to make on both sides. Murray’s interview with Dan Patrick and his demeanor upon loss left him open to criticism, but he also spoke to the media this summer and was otherwise professional.

I think it’s okay to point out that AZ Media at one point was considering replacing Kyler Murray with the likes of Deshaun Watson (with some in favor of that) and that he spoke to the media… and that you still would like to see your QB not be a story As lonely lonely stories amid expectations. Hopefully everyone gets a little better going forward, in all respects.

#2. Eno Benjamin Outbreak Out?

It looks like Eno Benjamin has gone from an upstanding bubble guy to a sophisticated player ready in his third year for a bigger role.

Benjamin could slip straight into the Edmonds back ‘receiver’ Chase Edmonds role in 2020, and while he’s up front in 2021, the contract awarded to James Conner could mean he ends up in the RB2 role, unlike Edmunds.

It’s a pleasant surprise as former RB President Daryl Williams was expected to be in the spotlight, and seeing a young player who has been drafted taking the next step would be good news for Arizona.

# 3. Jimmy Moore

The Cardinals have also talked about Rondell Moore quite a bit…

If Hollywood Brown ends up going abroad, will Moore take on the role of Christian Kirk? Or stay as more player sweep the planes in their scheme?

Time will tell how they will be able to use his skill set especially when Hopkins returns.

And now for 3 minuses coming out of the little camp…

#1. Hudson is not here

Yes… most Cardinals fans (and possibly the coaching staff) seemed to be a bit shocked by the news that C Rodney Hudson didn’t show up, no excuse due to a small camp.

GI Although his signed contract still has two years remaining and he’s been coming off the slack season, there don’t appear to be financial issues. Perhaps Hudson simply wants to be somewhere else, or he can claim a trade.

In 2021, the report said he would have signed with Kansas City if he was a free agent, but Arizona gave up its third-round pick for the rights to the deal. This was supposed to close the position for the foreseeable future, but interest in the likes of Tyler Lindenbaum and C Cam Jurgens remained in the cards, meaning they probably knew leaving, via retirement or the other, might be coming.

If nothing else, this appears to be solidified now that Justin Pugh discusses a possible long-term move to the center for the rest of his career, and I wouldn’t shock me even a bit if Hudson was considering his future in the NFL and getting stuck, with Pugh taking over the center Team start.

Kyler Murray, as the shortest quarterback, will likely need to play a higher-quality inside attacking line than some other quarterbacks, and with Aaron Donald in the division, losing Arizona Hudson would not only be a poor return on investment after one season, but will continue In the mode of players retiring versus playing for the team. I think Pugh could do well, but you want talent to be gained, not lost, if you’re looking to build on last year’s 11-5 season if you were Arizona.

# 2. Cardinals (whistling) in Cornerback

I’ll go out and say it. I think the Cardinals will arrive at some point, either now or off next season, to make a deal for a corner start.

The reason is simple: Keim and this coaching staff have been reticent to trust entry-level jobs, and whenever Steve diagnoses an “immediate” need for a position, they first look to free agency, then look at the draft, with a player behind a cheaper veteran if possible .

Two great examples in the past few years are the letters Hopkins and Hudson. But let’s not forget… they were willing to pay a premium too.

In 2020, if Hopkins isn’t available? Arizona would have matched Dallas’ bid for impending free agent Amari Cooper. And who can forget their pursuit of Packers C Corey Linsley in 2021? Last season the Cardinals chased Hasson Riddick but Philly overtook them in the rushing area, and I think from what I know they were in CP Carlton Davis from the Buccaneers, who probably actually earned 1-2 million less each season in returning to the Bucs with news Tom Brady returns from retirement.

Oh, and let’s not forget just a few months ago when Keim replaced his first round with another Hollywood receiver who wouldn’t even be #1 after 6 weeks!


Given the lack of confidence many fans have in Keim’s drafts and the way he works, unless the Cardinal has a disastrous season and makes a pick at the end of the draft, I think he’ll attack Free Agency or give up after picking another draft to fix an issue he seems to have created himself. Byron Murphy’s play was solid but not an answer… The gist of Marco Wilson’s deal is commendable. But, when Wilson was due to be the only corner on the list next year (the tragic death of Jeff Gladney already spoiled many plans but there’s no way to get around it) …. Sorry.

I kind of broke and Robert Alford might be back again on a one-year deal. Arizona moved from Larry Fitzgerald to another player of his caliber in the reception, but there was no replacement Patrick Peterson yet on the roster. I guess Arizona State would have no choice but to fix the problem in an expensive fashion…unless Byron Murphy Jr. has had an ages season and cemented himself as a CB1.

#3. Midfielders are leading? Or move positions?

Defending Arizona seems to be a concern to many (more on that in a bit) but Isaiah Simmons has talked about stepping up as a senior leader. Here’s welcome news to fans after seeing Jordan Hicks leave the season:

Simmons got online at AZ in a jittery after playing in Safety as his first day of training got underway, and to be honest, this might be his best spot on the field. The fact that he and DC Vance Joseph still call him the quarterback, of course, makes me think he might be more of a hybrid defender playing in cover to help Arizona’s defenses slack off with a weaker secondary presence currently.

The previous top ten pick wasn’t playing much, so it’s time to shine in the third year. Likewise, fellow first-round LB Zaven Collins caused a stir while acknowledging that he hasn’t had a specific defensive role yet.

While some might criticize that Collins is going through the same thing we’ve seen from Deone Bucannon, Haason Reddick and even Simmmons as far as struggling to hold on, I think we’re seeing progress this year, and maybe Simmons finally have a breakout season fans have been waiting for.

Alternative, when you’re looking to fix OL, Pass Rush, and secondary to be in need of finding new players? Well, I wouldn’t envy the organization a bit. We’ll see how well they do but the signs from the little camp haven’t been great. Hopefully, the bootcamp will provide the definitive answer to this question.