With three games remaining in the 2016 season, several NFL teams are turning toward evaluating for next year.
Sunday’s 26-23 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the Arizona Cardinals to 5-7-1 and all but wiped out any chance of squeaking into the playoffs. Three games back in the NFC West, Cards general manager Steve Keim said Monday on Arizona Sports Radio 98.7 he’s keeping a keen eye on which players continue to fight down the stretch.
“I have a pretty good feel (for what I want to do),” Keim said of his offseason approach, via the team’s official website. “I really do feel like our core talent on offense and on defense is in place. … These last three games are critical for a lot of reasons. I want to identify who loves it. Which guys are passionate about the game. Who are our top competitors? If you’re not going to compete and not play with passion you’re not going to be on this roster in 2017.”
“This is a constant frustration,” Keim said. “I have a hard time putting your finger on issues as a whole. It starts with attention to detail, and … guys we were counting on to make big plays have not shown up with any consistency. That’s also very alarming for me.”
Arizona will enter the offseason needing to fix a debilitating offensive line and problematic special teams play.
Keim added he “knows” Bruce Arians will be back next season and he expects both Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald to return: “based on conversations I had with them in training camp, I’d be surprised if they didn’t play next year,” he said. If either the quarterback or future Hall of Fame receiver opts to hang up his cleats, Keim’s offseason overhaul might become even more drastic.