The Biggest Question Marks Surrounding the Arizona Cardinals' Offseason

Cooper AllenAnalyst IIJanuary 31, 2013

The Biggest Question Marks Surrounding the Arizona Cardinals' Offseason

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    It seems like every offseason since Kurt Warner retired has been a big one for Arizona. This will not change one bit in 2013 as they still have a lot of work to do.

    With a revamped coaching staff and a new general manager, very few people know what to expect as we close in on the free agent period.

    In years past, it was easier to predict what the Cardinals were going to do, when fans could use the offseason history of Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt to project what transactions are most likely.

    This time around, there are several new faces in the organization and multiple issues they have to deal with.

    There are a lot of problems surrounding this team, many of which we hope are addressed over the next couple of months.

    Highlighted over the next few slides are the biggest question marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals offseason.

Quarterback

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    To keep or not to keep? That is the question. As cliche as takeoffs of the Shakespeare quote have become, "therein lies the rub" (or at least the main one) for the Cardinals this offseason.

    Do they keep Kevin Kolb as a starter? A backup? Do they try to trade him, release him or get him to restructure? What decisions should be made regarding the future of struggling second-year signal caller Ryan Lindley?

    New head coach Bruce Arians has not given us many hints as to what he is looking for and one can do little more than guess who he wants leading his offense.

    Arizona currently owes Kolb $9 million next season, plus a $2 million roster bonus due March 15.

    They have a lot of decision-making to do between now and then. We can debate all day which is the best option, but it is ultimately up to the coaches to answer these questions.

    If there is one thing that is for sure it is that there will be a lot of speculation over the next three months.

Running Back

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    Beanie Wells had another subpar, injury-riddled season. He appeared in just eight games, averaging less than three yards per carry, but again failed to make it through a season fumble-free.

    He has yet to start a full 16-game season in his career and his time in the desert could be coming to an end.

    The former first-round pick is entering his contract year and Bruce Arians will have an interesting decision to make.

    Players seem to be a little more motivated in their contract year and Beanie could have a big season in a new offense. On the other hand, the Cardinals could save a bit of money and draft someone with fresh legs.

    In addition to Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling is a free agent and Ryan Williams is coming off his second major injury in two years.

    Arizona will have to decide if they are confident in what they have or not. There are several interesting names available in free agency and a couple in the draft.

    Will they add depth, go for talent or stick with what they have?

Offensive Line

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    Arizona has had one of the worst offensive lines in football over the past few years. One of the biggest questions for them this offseason is will they finally address it.

    Last year, they added depth and drafted two players with potential in Bobby Massie and Senio Kelemete. With several big name free agents and stud prospects available, this may be the year they make a significant change.

    From Luke Joeckel to Chance Warmack, the Cardinals are in a position to draft a player who would greatly improve the offensive line.

    It will be this offseason where we find out whether or not they are committed to improving up front.

    Contrary to popular belief, the game is still won and lost in the trenches. Arizona has a solid defensive line, but they need to protect the quarterback and establish a running game.

    Will they finally fix the offensive line? This is a big question for the Cardinals this offseason.

Defense

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    The Cardinals defense was one of the lone bright spots in 2012. They were one of the better units in the game, but there is still room for improvement.

    Despite a great year, there are a couple of questions heading into the offseason.

    Firstly, how will they change under Todd Bowles as opposed to Ray Horton? Bowles will run a different system in the desert and the players will have to adapt.

    Secondly, are they happy with where they are at? The upcoming draft is loaded with defensive talent. They have the opportunity to make acquisitions that will put them at elite status.

    Between improving the offense and upgrading the defense, Arizona has to decide what is more important them. Their defense has the potential to be one of the best in the game.

    They would have to sacrifice a pick or cap space that could be used on a quarterback, running back or offensive lineman, though.