Most people seemed to think the Cardinals were in for a bad year but it wasn’t until recently that I think it became explicitly clear that is probably the purpose at this point.

The jury is out but most people were down on the Gannon hire. Kyler is recovering from an ACL tear. They traded down in the draft to stockpile picks. They tried to trade Nuk (unsuccessfully) and then ended up cutting him straight up. But then this week they made the unprecedented move of cutting QB Colt McCoy, a capable backup and the probable starter until Kyler is healthy. Instead they are rolling with Joshua Dobbs and something called Clayton Tune. Gannon won’t even say who the starter is, as if it matters. But then they also traded away Isaiah Simmons, the high draft pick tweener who never found a role on the defense, to the Giants for a 7th rounder. They traded O-lineman Josh Jones to the Texans for a 5th. The team seems to be stacking for the future.

Honestly? Probably smart. The Cardinals are in transition from the failed Kingsbury experiment and the Steve Keim roller coaster. The roster is pretty bad at the moment and nobody expects them to compete this year so you may as well clean house as best you can and prepare to actually build your team next season. I don’t think that bodes well for Gannon though. Teams that take the long approach quickly realize that “building” a winner through tanking just means your team is unwatchable dreck for a while and fan patience only goes so far. As a team, tanking might be the right move, but you rarely see organizations commit to the bit. The Browns tried it: Hue Jackson turned into a disaster and the team immediately improved once they found an actual coach. The Dolphins tried it, and Brian Flores bore the brunt of the mess by getting let go just as it was starting to work out. The Jets tried it, but they missed out on Trevor and picked Zach “The Milf Man” Wilson, and this past year they realized that they had to go all in on a plan B instead because otherwise, Saleh was probably on the hot seat. If the Cardinals are aiming for the Caleb sweepstakes, I’m not sure Gannon will survive the transition even if they land him. Maybe that was part of the plan and even Gannon knows he’s on thin ice, but he took his big chance like David Culley did.

No matter what the Cardinals are up to though, I’d have to say this year will not be fun as a Cardinals fan. Watching a bad team with no life is soul-draining. Set an alarm for the draft in 2024 and just snooze your way through this one, my Phoenix friends.