The Arizona Cardinals will look quite different in 2017.
Bruce Arians’ unit was turned over more than any team in the NFL this offseason, according to a deep data dive done by Jason Fitzgerald at Over The Cap, a site devoted to salary-cap analysis.
The site released its top 10 teams Thursday with Arizona earning the top spot after letting go of stars like Calais Campbell and Marcus Cooper this offseason. The rankings were based on total snaps lost, quality snaps lost, quality special teams snaps lost and average per year dollars lost.
While the Cardinals did not edge out the No. 2 Cowboys by much, their place atop this list makes a pretty interesting statement about the franchise and how important this year is to the club. As Fitzgerald noted, they theoretically could have Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald on next year’s list and claim the NFL’s top roster turnover spot again.
This might help explain all the nostalgia surrounding Palmer and the Super Bowl ring of late. Arians brought up Palmer’s Hall of Fame credentials earlier this offseason, and star running back David Johnson talked about the pressure he has placed on himself to get something done for the quarterback and wide receiver.
Arizona’s current situation makes it all the more interesting that it did not opt to select Palmer’s successor in this year’s draft, instead focusing on a fierce pass rusher to bolster its defense in the first round. Striking a balance between the present and the future is incredibly difficult, especially when a team is losing star power but still hoping to maximize the final stretch of a veteran-laden team.