This offseason the Cardinals added five new presumed starters: Devon Kennard, De'Vondre Campbell Jordan Phillips in free agency, DeAndre Hopkins in a trade, and Isaiah Simmons in the draft. We'll see about third-round offensive tackle Josh Jones.
Arizona's following a popular trend that I've advocated for over the last several months: Adding proven veterans through free agency and trades while Kyler Murray is still cheap. When Murray gets paid, they'll be forced to walk the same team-building tightrope that the Seahawks, Eagles and Rams are now walking after their respective Super Bowl runs. For now, the Cardinals are living the fast life.
Another popular trend? Botox. What? Hear me out...
Everyone in Hollywood has a little bit of "work" done. Here's a top-10 list of Kylie Jenner before-and-after pictures. When you're done, please return to this article.
A little lip-filler here, a little breast augmentation there - what's the harm, right? Well, for starters, Michael Jackson.
Second, if you're not the "youngest self-made billionaire in the world", which Kylie Jenner is touted as, good luck keeping up with those $1000 payments every three months. Unless you have unlimited funds, it's probably unsustainable, especially if you start when you're in your twenties.
Third, the Botox treatment is performed by injecting one the world's most poisonous substances. You're playing a dangerous game if it's not done right.
Botox comes with big potential short-term gains - but also the risk of looking very goofy - and its long-term viability is up for debate.
Sounds like building an NFL team through veteran acquisitions.
As I sat on my couch Saturday night rewatching last season's Thursday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, I couldn't get this Botox theory out of my head. The 49ers dominated three-quarters of that game, until Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake and - strangely - Andy Isabella's heroics pulled the Cardinals within a score with less than five minutes remaining.
San Francisco won that game by only three points, but the chasm between the two NFC West foes was obviously huge. That was shown throughout the rest of the season, as the Cardinals went on to win just five games, and the 49ers made a run to the Super Bowl.
The Shanahan/Lynch rebuild in San Francisco has embodied patience, restraint, and long-term strategy. It started with the duo getting matching six-year contracts from owner Jed York. It continued with John Lynch giving up only a second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo. It was capped off when they drafted of Nick Bosa, who was the fourth defensive lineman taken first overall out of the last five 49ers drafts. Patience, restraint, strategy.
Or, you could just inject something into your face for bigger lips and Instagram "likes". America, baby.
That's what the Cardinals did. They injected starter-level talent into their team from five different systems. The Lions, Bills, Falcons, Texans and Clemsons Tigers all had their own ways of getting production out of Arizona's new additions, and now the Cardinals are hoping to synthesize them into one cohesive unit. This was partly out of necessity, partly out of luxury. Steve Keim knew he needed to knock this offseason out of the park, and he knew that he had the wiggle room to do it, while Kyler Murray enters year two of his rookie deal.
Will it pan out? Maybe. If it does, it won't be long-lived. That's OK. It wasn't for the Rams, Eagles or Seahawks, but it took them to the promised land. If it doesn't, like it didn't for the Browns in 2019, Steve Keim could wind up with the same fate as ex-general manager John Dorsey, and the Cardinals could wind up looking like Mickey Rourke.