Although relatively new to the state of Arizona, the Cardinals franchise is the oldest of the 32 currently operating teams in the National Football League. Formed in 1898 in Chicago, they, along with the Chicago Bears were one of the two charter members of the NFL when it was founded in 1920. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1987 and eventually ended up in their current home in the Southwest in 1988. In 2006, they relocated within the greater Phoenix area from Tempe to their current home in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
While they have two championships (1925 and 1947), both were long before Super Bowls were played and they actually hold the longest active championship drought amongst North American teams with 72 years and counting. In fact they did not have any postseason wins between 1947 and 1998.
They have been a member of the NFC since the 1970 merger but were a member of the NFC East until the realignment in 2002, and are now one of four members of the NFC West. They have won their current division three times since joining and even have a Super Bowl appearance in 2008. They have had several successful seasons over the past 15 years besides their Super Bowl run, including a team best 13-3 year in 2015 where they advanced to their second NFC title game.
Cardinals ownership has been in the same hands since 1933, as the Bidwell family has remained in control for the past eight-plus decades. Steve Keim has been their General Manager since 2013 after working his way up through the scouting department. The team is coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who is entering his second year after a successful run as an offensive mind in the college ranks.
Many Hall of Famers have played parts of their career for the Cardinals, including Emmitt Smith and Dick “Night Train” Lane but, maybe the most famous career Cardinal enshrined in Canton is Dan Dierdorf. Known not only for his achievements on the field as an stalwart on the offensive line during the 1970’s, but also his broadcasting career afterwards. Mr. Dierdorf is likely only keeping that seat warm for the day that Larry Fitzgerald inevitably has his bust cast and installed though. A legend for the past 17 years and fan favorite, Fitzgerald will return once again in 2020 to add to his already impressive resume.
While it was more for his actions off the field, one of the Cardinals most recognizable former players is Pat Tillman. In June of 2002 he left behind his career as a pro football player to enlist in the Army and was eventually killed in action overseas. He has been honored league-wide for his selfless commitment to his country and has his number retired by the organization.
The Current Cardinals Team
The current roster is led by second year quarterback Kyler Murray, the 2019 top overall pick. In March of this year, the team negotiated a trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in exchange for a couple of draft picks and running back David Johnson. He will join Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and KeeSean Johnson in the receiving corps. Kenyan Drake looks to take over the roll of starting running back after Johnson’s departure. He started 8 games for Arizona last year after being traded from Miami and led them in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns.
The 2020 NFL draft saw the Cardinals drafting eighth overall after a 5-10-1 regular season. They added Clemson linebacker and 2019 Dick Butkus award winner Isaiah Simmons to a defense that finished near the bottom of the league last year. While most of the other draft picks and free agency signings were attempts to help an ailing defense, they did also add offensive tackle Josh Jones from the University of Houston in the 3rd round of the draft to help bolster a struggling offensive line.