The Arizona Cardinals had a frustrating 2022 season in which they finished 4-13, but they have a bit of hope moving forward.
Quarterback Kyler Murray is working his way back from an ACL injury, while it is looking less likely they will trade star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
But Arizona will have their work cut out for them, as the NFC West will be competitive, and they have some holes to patch up.
On Monday, they decided to not pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Isaiah Simmons, which will make 2023 a contract year for him.
The #AZCardinals are not picking up the fifth-year option for former No. 8 overall pick LB Isaiah Simmons, sources say. He enters a contract year with a chance to make it count with a big season in coach Jonathan Gannon's defense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2023
Simmons was the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after a strong senior season at Clemson University in which he had 8.0 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, eight passes defended, and three interceptions.
But so far, he hasn’t quite lived up to the billing of being a top-10 draft pick.
Last season, he put up 99 combined tackles (68 solo), 4.0 sacks, seven passes defended, five tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits.
Perhaps the Cardinals’ biggest weakness last season was their pass defense — they ranked just 24th in passing yards allowed and 28th in passing touchdowns given up, resulting in them finishing ranking next-to-last in points allowed.
They have a new head coach in Jonathan Gannon, who is fresh off helping the Philadelphia Eagles reach the brink of a Super Bowl title as their defensive coordinator.
Perhaps Gannon will be able to get something more out of Simmons than Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona’s previous head coach, was able to over the last few years.NEXT: Fans React To What DeAndre Hopkins Said Today