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Cardinals 2020 Schedule Released; Opener at San Francisco September 13

The Cardinals 2020 slate is out, and the team will open the season against the NFC Champion 49ers on the road in a tough week one matchup.

The team will play their home opener in week two against the Redskins. Here’s the complete slate for the Cards.

Sep. 13 at San Francisco 1:25 PM

Sep. 20 WASHINGTON 1:05 PM

Sep. 27 DETROIT 1:25 PM

Oct. 4 at Carolina 10:00 AM

Oct. 11 at New York Jets 10:00 AM

Oct. 19 at Dallas Cowboys (Mon.) 5:15 PM

Oct. 25 SEATTLE 1:05 PM

Nov. 1 BYE

Nov. 8 MIAMI 2:25 PM

Nov. 15 BUFFALO 2:05 PM

Nov. 19 at Seattle (Thurs.) 6:20 PM

Nov. 29 at New England 11:00 AM

Dec. 6 LOS ANGELES RAMS 2:05 PM

Dec. 13 at New York Giants 11:00 AM

Dec. 20 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 2:05 PM

Dec. 26/27 SAN FRANCISCO TBD

Jan. 3 at Los Angeles Rams 2:25

An Educated Guess at What the 2020 Cardinals Schedule Could Look Like

The 2020 Arizona Cardinals schedule will be released in a televised event on Thursday night, and while we already know who the Cards will go up against and where, we don’t know in what order, or what may or may not be on prime time.

Here are the teams the Cards will play:

Home: Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Redskins, Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, Lions
Away: Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Cowboys, Giants, Jets, Patriots, Panthers

Today we give a reminder of the teams that we will see the Cardinals in the 2020 season, and we give our guess in what order we will see them in.

(A quick sidebar – we are moving forward with this schedule as if the season will start and play out on time, with no issues due to the covid-19 pandemic).

Sunday 9/13 Week One at Los Angeles Rams
Sunday 9/20 Week Two at Dallas
Sunday 9/27 Week Three vs Buffalo
Thursday 10/01 Week Four at New England (Thursday Night Football)
Sunday 10/11 Week Five vs Miami
Sunday 10/18 Week Six vs Detroit
Sunday 10/25 Week Seven BYE WEEK
Sunday 11/01 Week Eight at NY Giants
Sunday 11/08 Week Nine at Seattle
Monday 11/16 Week Ten vs San Francisco (Monday Night Football)
Sunday 11/22 Week Eleven vs Seattle
Sunday 11/30 Week Twelve at NY Jets
Sunday 12/06 Week Thirteen vs Los Angeles Rams
Sunday 12/13 Week Fourteen vs Washington
Sunday 12/20 Week Fifteen at Carolina
Sunday 12/27 Week Sixteen vs Philadelphia
Sunday 01/03 Week Seventeen at San Francisco

Cardinals Go D in Round One of the NFL Draft, Snag Clemson OLB Isaiah Simmons

The Cards went defense in round one of the NFL Draft, as the team took Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons in the first round with the 8th pick in the NFL Draft.

Joe Weinfuss of ESPN wrote about why the Cards went the route of Simmons in the first round:

This was about as much of a no-brainer as there’ll be in this year’s draft. Simmons is widely considered the best defensive prospect in the draft and he fell to the Cardinals for no other reason than other teams had needs elsewhere, most of which were on offense. He’s the ideal complement for pass-rusher Chandler Jones and helps the Cardinals take a major step in their defensive rebuild.

CBS Sports asks if Simmons is physical enough for the NFL:

Cardinals Deal RB David Johnson to the Houston Texans, Nab WR DeAndre Hopkins in Return

Just a few years back David Johnson was at the very top as one of, if not the very best running back in the NFL.

Now, he will wake up on Tuesday as a former Cardinal.

The 28-year-old from Memphis, TV was dealt to the Houston Texans on Monday according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Cardinals in return for Johnson get stud wide out DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick for Johnson and a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

The Texans will take all of Johnson’s salary which includes a $14.156 million cap hit in 2020 and a $14 million cap hit in 2021.

Johnson’s breakout season came in 2016 when he rushed for 1239 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry average.

The running back was a third-round selection (86th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Northern Iowa.

In five seasons Johnson has put up some gaudy numbers for the Cards, playing in 62 games rushing for 3,128 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Johnson also can make plays in the passing game, as he caught 208 passes for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The former Northern Iowa back is heading into the second year of the three-year, $39 million extension he signed with the Cardinals.

Hopkins brings a huge passing game threat to the Cardinals, as in his career, all with Houston, he has caught 1,048 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 total touchdowns.

What’s the Status of the Cardinals Receiving Core as Free Agency Closes In?

NFL.com has a new article out discussing how things look to be shaping up with free agency ready to start very soon, and how teams wide receiver cores are looking going into the process.

The Cardinals have a chance to make an impact in that department, hopefully to get a new weapon for Kyler Murray.

You can read the entire article HERE – for now here’s what the piece says about the Cardinals receiver situation.

Arizona Cardinals

Top three WRs in 2019: Larry Fitzgerald (75 catches, 804 yards, 4 TDs), Christian Kirk (68-709-3), Damiere Byrd (36-370-4 — UFA).

Last season, Cardinals receivers averaged just 8.9 air yards per target, the lowest rate in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats. This was due in part to scheme and in part to poor offensive line play, but it’s fair to assume that in his second NFL season, quarterback Kyler Murray would benefit from an additional big target with high yards-after-the-catch aptitude, especially with last year’s leading receiver, Fitzgerald, turning 37 in August … and it wouldn’t hurt to have scheme familiarity (for my thoughts on what my models project Arizona should do with the eighth overall pick, check out my analytics-based mock draft.

Who Would the Cardinals Use the Franchise Tag on If Needed in 2020?

USA Today has released an interesting article regarding the ever unpopular (at least for players) ‘Franchise tag’ and how team’s may use it in 2020.

It seems like every team has an option to use the franchise tag, which stops a player from even negotiating with outside teams and forces them to stay put.

To see the entire list of all 32 teams and the players that might be franchised, click HERE.

Here’s what the article has to say about the Cardinals, who they say may franchise running back Kenyan Drake.

They’re in the bottom half of the league in terms of available cap dollars. They also got quite an eight-game audition from RB Kenyan Drake after trading for him last October. Letting the transition tag set his market might be sensible.

Cardinals Agree to Three-Year Deal with Left Tackle D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals want to make sure last year’s first overall pick Kyler Murray stays protected, and they’ve already made a big move in that direction this offseason.

The team agreed to a three-year, $45 million deal with one of the top left tackles in the game, that being D.J. Humphries.

Humphries was set to hit free agency March 18th when the new NFL league year kicked off.

The new contract will pay Humphries $30 million over the first two years and $29 million guaranteed according to NFL.com.

The deal was reported on Monday and Tuesday was confirmed by the Cardinals. Humphries was a starter for all 16 games for Arizona last season.

Having the left tackle aboard is a great way to kick off the team’s offseason plans.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim Wants Patrick Peterson to ‘Retire as a Cardinal’

Amid much hullabaloo regarding the future of running back David Johnson, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has also weighed in on where he and owner Michael Bidwill stand with cornerback Patrick Peterson, NFL.com reports.

Season after season, Peterson has been regarded as one of the top corners in the game.

Though a suspension derailed the majority of Peterson’s 2019 campaign, Keim and Co. haven’t been soured on the standout and hope his career continues and eventually concludes in the desert.

“Pat is a guy — Michael and I have talked many times about this — we’d love to see him retire as a Cardinal,” Keim told 98.7 FM’s Doug & Wolf, adding that the team has had conversations with Peterson in regards to his contract, but nothing has transpired as of yet.

Peterson’s 2020 season is the last on his current deal — a five-year, $70.5-million contract in which he’s due $12.05 million in base salary during his age-30 year, per Over The Cap.

“He’s under contract, and I think when you look at the body of work last year, he’d be one of the first to tell you he didn’t play up to expectations early on,” Keim said.

After the Cardinals used the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Peterson, he responded with eight straight Pro Bowl selections — with three All-Pro nods sprinkled in — to start his stellar career. That streak ended in 2019 after Peterson spent his first six weeks serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Peterson’s play found its way back to form down the stretch, particularly in the final three games as he notched a combined 17 tackles, two for a loss, one interception and five passes defended.

On the season, he garnered 53 tackles, two picks, seven passes defended and three tackles for loss.

“The last three games I thought he played excellent,” Keim said. “I think that he’s got a chip on his shoulder, and I think he’s going to come back with a vengeance.”

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