Expect for the Arizona Cardinals to be a better team in 2009.
There's many obstacles and myths that surround a team to keep them from being a better team.
Since 1999, the teams who lost in the Super Bowl, as the Cardinals did, failed to make the playoffs the following year.
The following year after losing the Super Bowl to the Patriots in 2004, the Eagles lose Donovan Mcnabb for half the season and also failed to make the playoffs. Adding to the mix is the 2006 Bears who also fail to make the playoffs the following year after loosing to the Colts in the Super Bowl.
And we can't forget about the strange "Madden Curse." Larry Fitzgerald along with Troy Polamalu grace the cover of the new 2010 Madden cover whose affected the career of star players like Barry Sanders, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Daunte Culpepper, Marchall Faulk and Donovan Mcnabb.
Another problem the Cardinals face is their disgruntled, Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin wants to reconstruct his contract and it's been reported the Cardinals are one of the teams in the league with the least amount of cap space.
Despite these myths and salary cap issues, the Cardinals still have a chance to be a better team.
After Kurt Warner visited with the 49er's and was offer around $20 million, I thought it was adios Arizona. But the Cardinals managed to resign him.
The Cardinals also drafted Beenis Wells with the 31st pick in the draft. Wells proved to be a strong runner great speed at Ohio State. That lead to the releasing of Edgerin James. James was on the down hill of his career and couldnt help their running game which ranked last in the league. The running back duo of Hightower and Wells seems pretty promising.
Having little cap room makes it difficult to resign three vital players in Adrian Wilson, Karlos Dansby and Anquan Boldin. General Manager Rod Graves stated that he prioritized the player in the order I listed them.
Wilson was just rewarded with a five year deal worth $39 million and $18.5 guaranteed. If Graves follows his priority list, Dansby should be receiving a new contract soon. Hopefully Boldin will follow suit once its official that Tom Condon is his new agent and works a deal out with Graves.
Sticking with the Boldin issue for a second, if it isn't handled it could cause a stir in the locker room. Go back to the Super Bowl when Boldin got in a argument match with the offensive coordinator. We all know receivers are stated as the "Primadonnas" of the league. Look at what T.O. did to the Eagles and Cowboys. Another case would be Chad Johnson, whoops I mean Chad Ochocinco.
If I were Graves I would have made a trade with the Eagle that included one of these packaged deals:
1) Sheldon Brown and a third round pick
2) Sheldon Brown, Kevin Curtis and a second round pick in 2010
Sheldon Brown is a Pro Bowl caliber cornerback. it would make since now that Rod Hood was released and singed with the Browns.
That's just my opinion, but if they can manage to reconstruct Boldin's contract and make him happy, great news for the Cardinals. No one in the league would want to loose a player of his caliber, but when buisness calls you have to make the right decision the whole organization.
With those things in mind, it is possible for the Arizona Cardinals to escape historic myths.
There are teams out there who stay consistent year in and year out. Look at Pittsburgh who has now won two titles in four years and are considered an elite team year in and year out. The Patriots are the leagues biggest dynasty and now have back their franchise player back. You also have teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers who compete for a title every year.
The Arizona Cardinals have a chance to defy history and become a better team. If they can handle their off season contract issues, keep Boldin, and work hard on a improving that last rankedrush offense and staying healthy on both sides of the ball....who knows. They can be right back where they were last year.
As long as Fitzgerald doesn't make a comment like Dononvan McNabb did about being on the cover of Madden
"Might be a trend, but I don't believe in it at all," McNabb said about the curse.
Be careful Fitzgerald. You already had one scare in O.T.A.'s!