Behind Enemy Lines: Cardinals takes by expert Aarron Van Buren

Mandatory Credit: Nfc Wild Card Playoff Cardinals Vs Rams
Mandatory Credit: Nfc Wild Card Playoff Cardinals Vs Rams /
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The LA Rams compete in the fiercely competitive NFC West Division, home of the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks. While we know that the Seattle Seahawks appear to be content with last place as the organization rebuilds their roster, the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers continue to threaten the LA Rams’ hold on the Division Title, as well as the path to Super Bowl LVII.

But even as the LA Rams‘ off-season has been a mixture of losing solid contributors and welcoming new players to the team’s roster, the Arizona Cardinals have also been fighting defections, blockbuster trades, and disgruntled players in their quest to assemble a winning roster.

And so, before the footballs start flying and the fans fill the stands, we sat down with FanSided’s site expert for Raising Zona, Aarron Van Buren.  He was gracious enough to share his NFL Insider’s perspective on a number of current Arizona Cardinal storylines.

Who takes over for WR Christian Kirk?

Ramblin fan: Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and raised the roof on NFL WR salaries. Was he that valuable to the Cardinals’ offense? If so, will there be any regret in letting him set the market for NFL WRs by signing with the Jaguars? Will his role be replaced directly by promotion from within, or will the Cardinals simply find new ways of doing things with new offensive weapons?

Raising Zona:

Christian Kirk was the Cardinals’ most targeted receiver last year with 103 targets and 77 of those were caught. So that’s a big chunk of targets to be divvied up to either Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, or second-year Rondale Moore. Kirk had more of a “between the 20s” role with roughly 2200 of his 2900 career yards coming in that spot in the field. He was hardly used near the goal line, with 8 red zone touchdowns in his career. There should be no regret in letting him walk as he had plenty of chances to step up and be the guy the Cardinals wanted him to be after being taken in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M.

His role should be heavily replaced by Brown, whose career and 2021 season is eerily similar to that of Kirk’s. Moore must make his impact in the first six weeks with DeAndre Hopkins suspended; otherwise, he may just be another Andy Isabella and never see the playing field.

Must Read. LA Rams: 15 greatest wide receivers of All Time. light

Finally, if the Jacksonville Jaguars think a receiver who’s never broken the 1000-yard mark in his career is worth that massive contract, then that is one of the most “Peak-Jaguars” things I have ever seen.