It rolls like a tank, rumbles like a tank, and stinks like the inside of a tank, but as long as the Cardinals don’t call it a tank they won’t get in trouble for tanking.
Regardless, for 2023, the Cardinals are not prioritizing the effort to win as many games as they can.
The dynamic became obvious at the draft, when the Cardinals gave up current picks for future ones. It became even more clear when they specifically made receiver DeAndre Hopkins a pre-June 1 release, taking the full salary cap charge in 2023, when it could have been easily split over two years.
By Thursday, it was no surprise when the Cardinals send 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons to the Giants and 2020 third-rounder Josh Jones to the Texans. The surprise, in some league circles, is the paltry return for both players.
Some are wondering what the Cardinals did to maximum the haul, or whether the Cardinals were looking to do a favor to the Giants and the Texans by doing the deals for so little. Did they make it known the players were available and wait for the best offers? If so, no one leaked it to the media that the players were available.
More moves could be made. The Cardinals are clearly tearing it down now, with the goal of building it up later. It could make for a long season in 2023 — but for a great potential draft haul in 2024, especially since they have Houston’s first-round pick, too.