Which Cardinals could be next to receive long-term extensions?

·3 min read

The Arizona Cardinals have made it a priority to keep their young, talented core intact moving forward. Following the massive contract extension for Kyler Murray, the Cardinals awarded safety Jalen Thompson a three-year deal.

Which players on the team could be next in line to receive an extension?

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CB Byron Murphy

(AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

The Cardinals front office has repeatedly praised the Washington product. Murphy has steadily improved in each of his three seasons, but the team will need him to operate as a No. 1 cornerback this year.

Back in the 2020 offseason, the Cardinals gave Budda Baker a massive contract extension prior to his best season. They initially received some criticism from the media, charting the move as an overpay. Baker then had a sensational year and is now one of the top safeties in the NFL.

Perhaps the Cardinals feel the same trajectory is coming with Murphy. Getting a long-term deal done now would likely save them money in the future, all while showing their ascending cornerback their commitment to him.

WR Marquise Brown

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has yet to play a snap for the team but could be the next to receive a long-term deal.

Brown requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens due to the run-heavy offense, feeling he wouldn’t get the sort of targets he could in a place like Arizona.

Kliff Kingsbury has alluded to a possible extension for Brown. Perhaps the Cardinals view his ceiling in Arizona as much higher than it was in Baltimore. If they think he’ll explode for over 1,200 yards and be an elite wideout this season, they’d be well-served to extend him now.

Brown is technically under team control for another two years because of his fifth-year option, but extending him now makes a lot of sense. The wide receiver market is exponentially growing and Brown’s price tag will likely continue to grow.

OLB Markus Golden

Markus Golden is the Cardinals’ only proven veteran presence in the outside linebacker room. He is one of the most beloved members of the team and embraces Arizona and its community.

Rumors are floating out that Golden is holding in, or essentially not practicing in an attempt to receive a contract extension. For a pass rusher that netted 11 sacks last season, Golden’s $2 million salary isn’t going to cut it.

The Cardinals will likely do right by Golden and give him a contract extension, or a pay raise for this season. With the pass-rushing unit already full of question marks, the Cardinals need Golden now more than ever.

DE Zach Allen

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals are very excited about Allen’s development last season. He’s had some injury concerns since coming into the league but was a key contributor on defense last year.

The pairing of Allen with J.J. Watt will be a large part of the Cardinals’ success or failure on defense. The young edge rusher room needs a reliable interior defensive line. The same can be said for the youthful inside linebacker group.

If the Cardinals view Allen as a long-term contributor on the defensive line, extending him sooner rather than later makes sense. He’s set to be a free agent following the 2022 season.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire