TEMPE, Ariz. -- With additions and departures comes a new season of change for the Arizona Cardinals.
When Arizona kicks off 2015, it will have a slew of new faces thanks to free agency and the draft. While the draft is still a month away, I can only predict the Cardinals’ 2015 starters based on what’s happened in free agency.
Here are my predictions for what the Cardinals’ starting offense will look like next season:
Quarterback: Carson Palmer
Reason: This should be a given considering how much money the Cardinals invested in Palmer last season, only to see his season end two days later. By the time Week 1 comes around, Palmer will be fully healed. He doesn’t need a lot of time in training camp to get ready considering Arizona hasn’t tinkered with his targets.
Running back: Andre Ellington
Reason: Barring a major trade, Ellington will continue being Arizona’s focal point of the offense. He should be healthy to start the 2015 season after recovering from a serious foot injury as well as a hip pointer and hip flexor suffered last season. The Cardinals don’t have an option on their roster right now to unseat Ellington.
Reason: The chemistry between both Fitzgerald, Floyd and Palmer has continually grown over their past two seasons together. Fitzgerald will return with a new contract in the same inside slot role he played last season. Floyd, who didn’t have as productive of a 2014 as was expected, will continue being the outside threat. This was another no-brainer.
Reason: Even though Carlson had a case of the drops last season and Niklas spent most of the season injured, the two are the future at tight end for the Cardinals.
Backups: Darren Fells
Reason: The left side was solidified for years when Arizona signed Iupati during free agency. Larsen has played more consistently during the last few years than Shipley and right guard is Cooper’s spot to lose. But after a year of rehabbing and recovering physically and mentally from a broken leg, he should report to OTAs as healthy as he’s been in two years. Even with all his growth the last couple of years, Massie still has some work to do but he proved last season he’s more than capable at right tackle.
Coming Tuesday: Predicting the defensive starting lineup.