What does the Arizona Cardinals schedule for the 2017 NFL season look like?
Coming off of a big loss in the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers, the Arizona Cardinals entered the 2016 NFL season with a clean slate ready to make another run at a Super Bowl. Carson Palmer was coming off an MVP-esque season for head coach Bruce Arians, rookie running back David Johnson was bursting onto the scene and the defense was one of the best in the league.
Last year, however, wasn’t what anyone was expecting. While Johnson was a hot name for the MVP all year Palmer struggled moving the offense while the defense struggled to against the pass. Arians’ squad was never able to put together more than two back-to-back wins throughout the year finishing 7-8-1.
The biggest news entering the offseason included the injury to Johnson’s knee in week 17, the status of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the numerous pending free agents on the defensive side of the ball. The best news was that Johnson’s knee injury was just a sprained MCL opposed to a torn ACL like most assumed. And once Fitzgerald claimed he’d be coming back to play out the final year of his contract.
The defense, however, suffered a few snags. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell and safety Tony Jefferson both left tow for bigger contracts, Campbell going to Jacksonville and Jefferson to Baltimore. They also lost starting linebacker Kevin Minter to Cincinnati and safety DJ Swearinger to Washington.
They brought in some key pieces to contribute, though. Karlos Dansby’s returning, Jarvis Jones is now in town and Antoine Bethea will look to take over Jefferson’s spot at safety. And they did manage to re-sign a few of their own; Chandler Jones agreed to a lucrative contract worth up to $82.5 million, Jermaine Gresham will look to contibute on offense and Andre Ellington is making a move to wide receiver in hopes of restoring what was a bright future his first couple years in the league.
With these additions and subtractions, the Cards are a wild card. Here’s what they’ll face in 2017, though, the Arizona Cardinals schedule for this season:
The window to win is closing quick as many key contributors aren’t getting any older. General manager Steve Keim will need to fill pieces in the draft not only for the 2017 season (the Cardinals have the 23rd hardest schedule) but for the future as well.