After watching some of the Seahawks and Cardinals game this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but wonder just how in the hell Arizona started off the season 4-0 and were talking about the playoffs. With the 58-0 whacking they took in Seattle, they continued their second streak of the season; a nine game losing streak.
To try and pinpoint just where this team went wrong is a daunting task. I don’t mean that because there are just a few gaps to fix, but that anyone who thinks this can be put on one guy or player is just fooling themselves. This team has so many problems that it’s a wonder they aren’t winless at this point.
Just three years removed from being one defensive stop away from winning a Super Bowl, the Cardinals have made mistake after mistake since Kurt Warner retired at the end of the 2010 season. The elephant in the room is the ridiculous trade and even more ridiculous contract given to unproven Philadelphia Eagles backup Kevin Kolb in the summer of 2011.
By now we all know the depressing numbers; Arizona relinquished promising young cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick to Philadelphia for a guy who had only attempted 319 passes in his NFL career. On top of that, they gave him a ludicrous 6 year, $62.1 million deal with $21 million of it guaranteed. Since, he’s only started in 14 games in two seasons while losing his job not only to injury, but ineffective play.
In those two seasons with the Cardinals, Kolb has a record of 6-8 with 11 interceptions. And did I mention that the Cards just placed him on season-ending IR today? This complete flop hasn’t been worse news for anyone more than superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
When Kolb was brought in, Fitzgerald liked the move and was open to staying with the franchise long-term and his agent opened up to negotiations. An 8 year, $120 million deal was reached and everything seemed to be falling into place for him. Now he’s stuck on a bad team with two bad quarterbacks and a gargantuan contract that just might be unmovable.
I asked some friends the other day how long before Larry Fitzgerald publicly demands a trade out of Arizona and they all replied he probably already has behind closed doors and it’ll probably leak out soon. As I said, that contract is huge and while about 31 other teams would take him, how could he go to a contender with that type of cap-crushing weight behind him?
I think Fitz made his bed and he’s going to have to sleep in it. The only way he goes to a contender is to eat a lot of money or ask for his release; something I doubt an organization as poorly run as Arizona would be willing to do. As long as Fitz doesn’t care where he goes, as long as it’s a change of scenery, some team out there will surely bite. And I think that’s exactly what Arizona should do.
They’re going to be hit with a ton of dead cap space, but they need to take this team apart from the inside out. Just firing Ken Whisenhunt isn’t going to fix anything. This might be the worst offensive line I’ve seen in over a decade and any skill players they have, they should consider putting them on the block and seeing what they can get.
Just a rebuild ins’t nearly enough to get this team on the right track. They flat out need to start over with a new coaching staff and new players. A good old fashioned fire sale is what should happen here. If they are under 25 and cheap, hang onto them. Anything over that; put them on the market.
This certainly wouldn’t be a quick fix, but NFL teams can turn things around much faster than in the NBA or MLB. But it is something Arizona needs to do immediately after releasing Kevin Kolb. It won’t be easy, but staying the course just proves that Bill Bidwill is just as clueless now as he has been the past 40 years.
Filed under: Arizona Cardinals