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The Arizona Cardinals are scheduled to open organized team activities (OTAs) next week as Phase 3 of the offseason program begins. They will have 10 practices over three weeks before mandatory minicamp.
But as the Cardinals get set for this part of the offseason, there are some important questions.
Who will show up to OTAs?
This part of the offseason is voluntary. No one must be there. However, most players typically participate because it is expected and, unless a player is an established star, not showing up means another player is getting reps in his place and that player could replace him. However, after a completely virtual offseason last year, the NFLPA has pushed for there to be no in-person work. The NFLPA has released statements on behalf of several teams saying they will boycott in-person work. While Cardinals players have issued no such statement, will players like J.J. Watt, A.J. Green and others show up? Will quarterback Kyler Murray be there to get work in with his teammates?
Will Kliff Kingsbury adjust how OTAs work?
If there is the threat of mass absences, the Cardinals might do what other teams have done and make concessions as to the number of practices or type. In some cases, full-speed practice reps have been replaced by only walkthroughs.
Who will run with the first team?
We have not yet discussed the early battles for starting jobs, but OTAs is where we can see a little bit of where the coaches are leaning. Potential absences will affect this, but seeing who runs with which team will be intriguing at some positions.
Will there be trades/cuts?
Linebacker Devon Kennard is surprisingly still on the roster. Jordan Hicks has been given permission to seek a trade. Will there be notable moves made before practices begin?
Will there be offensive changes?
The Cardinals already led the league last season in the use of "10" personnel, or four receivers on the field. But they lost tight end Dan Arnold in free agency and added Rondale Moore in the NFL draft. They seem better equipped now to go all-in with four receiver sets including DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Moore. Will they begin to look more like a college Air Raid system?