The Arizona Cardinals could see major roster parity over the next several seasons.
Only center Rodney Hudson, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, safety Budda Baker and those from their past two draft classes are under contract for 2023, according to Spotrac.
Quarterback Kyler Murray has a team option for 2023, which will be his fifth year in the NFL. The Cardinals have until May of this year to exercise that option.
With so many open spots, the Cardinals have an opportunity over the next couple of offseasons to decide what kind of team they want to assemble. That starts this offseason with how many key contributors are free agents.
Let's take a look at who is still under contract for the 2022 season, position-by-position:
- Kyler Murray
- Trace McSorley
Contract extension talks with Murray could be a focal point of the offseason.
He has two Pro Bowl selections in three seasons and was an MVP candidate for the first half of this past campaign, although his number dipped late in the season when Hopkins was injured.
McSorley was brought in to be the third-string quarterback behind Murray and upcoming free agent Colt McCoy during the season. His deal lasts for another year.
- Eno Benjamin
Benjamin, a 2020 seventh-round pick, is the sole Cardinals running back under contract from this past year's team. Arizona signed former Steeler Jaylen Samuels to a future contract on Wednesday.
Benjamin gained 118 rushing yards on 34 carries this season, his first with in-game action.
Lead backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents, while 2020 undrafted free agent signing Jonathan Ward is an exclusive-rights free agent.
The Cardinals can extend Ward a qualifying offer.
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Rondale Moore
- Andy Isabella
- Andre Baccellia (reserve/future)
Hopkins is signed through 2025, the longest current contract with the team aside from 2021 rookies, according to Spotrac.
Moore just completed his rookie season, so there is some certainty for Arizona having those two in its arsenal going forward.
Christian Kirk and A.J. Green are unrestricted free agents, and Antoine Wesley is an exclusive-rights free agent.
Isabella had one reception in 30 offensive snaps all season. He was inactive for most of Arizona's games only a couple of seasons after the team selected him in the second round (2019).
He has one more year on his rookie deal, but the Cardinals could free $1.13 million by cutting him.
- David Wells (reserve/future)
- Alex Ellis (reserve/future)
- Bernnhard Seikovitz (reserve/future)
David Wells played 12 offensive snaps for the Cardinals and is back on a future contract. That's it.
Zach Ertz, Maxx Williams, Demetrius Harris and Darrell Daniels will all become unrestricted free agents in March. Ertz was the team's leading receiver from Week 7 on, and he already expressed a desire to return.
- D.J. Humphries
- Kelvin Beachum
- Rodney Hudson
- Josh Jones
- Justin Murray
- Justin Pugh
- Joshua Miles
- Sean Harlow
- Marcus Henry
- Koda Martin (reserve/future)
- Eric Smith (reserve/future)
- Danny Isidora (reserve/future)
The only Cardinals offensive lineman who is a free agent is Max Garcia.
The Cardinals can basically assemble the exact same starting unit from the start of this past season with either Murray or Jones at right guard.
The organization has to evaluate whether or not it wants to do that.
There are ways to free up spots if the Cardinals decide to change it up.
Justin Pugh has a $2 million dead cap hit for next year, but cutting him could free up $9.26 million.
Kelvin Beachum and Justin Murray are set to make only $5.05 million combined, but their dead cap hits are $750,000 and $333,334, respectively.
- J.J. Watt
- Jordan Phillips
- Zach Allen
- Rashard Lawrence
- Leki Fotu
- Matt Dickerson (reserve/future)
Watt and Phillips are under contract for one more year each, and they account for a near $30 million cap hit in 2022 combined.
Phillips has a $9,205,776 dead cap hit if he gets cut, which is a tough pill to swallow. He also has three void years on his contract.
He has played nine games in each of his first two seasons with the Cardinals.
Allen is entering his contract year, while Lawrence and Fotu have two more seasons.
Nose tackle Corey Peters is an unrestricted free agent and defensive end Michael Dogbe is a restricted free agent.
- Markus Golden
- Devon Kennard
- Victor Dimukeje
Golden and Kennard each have one more season under contract while Chandler Jones enters free agency.
His contract dispute last offseason was well documented, and it led to him asking for a trade. Jones turns 32 next month.
Golden's two-year, $5 million deal he signed last offseason proved to have terrific value for Arizona, as he led the team with 11 sacks. Jones had 10.5.
Kennard played only 28% of defensive snaps this past year. He has a $4,233,333 dead cap hit for 2022 if cut, but Arizona can save $4.85 million in cap space by doing so.
- Jordan Hicks
- Zaven Collins
- Isaiah Simmons
- Tanner Vallejo
- Joe Walker (reserve/future)
Hicks has one more year on his deal, but he said he was not ready to answer questions about his future in Arizona on Tuesday.
Hicks was told he would not have a chance to start after the team drafted Zaven Collins last offseason, but he still arrived at training camp and ended up starting every game.
The Cardinals could save $6 million of his $9 million cap hit for next season if they cut the veteran.
Collins played only 20.6% of Arizona's defensive snaps.
Vallejo played over both Collins and Simmons in Arizona's playoff loss on Monday night. Arizona fell behind early, and Vallejo has been used more in run-down packages.
His dead cap hit is $250,000, so Arizona could save $1.6 million by moving on from him.
- Byron Murphy Jr.
- Marco Wilson
- Jace Whittaker (reserve/future)
- Breon Borders (reserve/future)
- Nate Brooks (reserve/future)
The Cardinals are lacking more depth under contract at cornerback than any other position on defense.
This is a position group the organization has not used much draft capital on in recent years. Murphy was a second-round pick in 2019 and Marco Wilson a fourth-rounder in 2021. Arizona traded 2021 sixth-round pick Tay Gowan in the Ertz deal.
That lack of depth was evident late in the season when Robert Alford, now a free agent, and Wilson were injured. The Cardinals relied on practice-squad players or corners who were on a practice squad at some point during the season.
- Budda Baker
- Jalen Thompson
- Deionte Thompson
- James Wiggins
- Javon Hagan (reserve/future)
Baker and Thompson made up an effective safety tandem that could be a staple of the Cardinals defense for the foreseeable future.
Baker is 26 years old and Thompson is 23.
Baker is locked in for two more years and has a team option for 2025. Thompson is entering the final year of his deal, and could be an extension candidate this summer.
Arizona's notable free agents at this position are Charles Washington and Chris Banjo, who were both mostly utilized on special teams.
- Matt Prater
Kicker Matt Prater has one more year under contract, but his long snapper and holder don't.
Punter Andy Lee and long snapper Aaron Brewer are both unrestricted free agents this offseason. The trio were very effective when working together, and there were some stumbles when Brewer was hurt and Lee went on the COVID-19 list.
Prater went 1-for-3 on field-goal attempts in two games this year, one without Brewer and the other without Lee.