The Arizona Cardinals have been among the most aggressive buyers so far this offseason. Defensive end J.J. Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green, cornerback Malcolm Butler, center Rodney Hudson, and running back James Conner have all joined the franchise after their 8-8 season in 2020.
With former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray entering his third year in the NFL, the Cardinals seem to be setting themselves up for an all-out push for the playoffs in 2021.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk implied that Arizona is approaching this upcoming season with exactly that mentality. In his mind, this year is “now or never.”
“I think it’s now or never for us,” Kirk said on NFL Network Wednesday. “That’s the attitude in the locker room. We finally feel like we have all the pieces to put it together and really make a push for the playoffs and for a championship. I know guys in the locker aren’t expecting anything less than that. We know what opportunity we have at hand, and then we know we have to be better. . . . Since coach Kingsbury’s been there, we have gotten better every year. Now it’s the year where we’ve got a young group of core guys that have been through a lot, all the ups and downs. We know the opportunity is here, and we have to rise to the occasion, and we have the right guys and the right leadership to do it.”
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 30, 2021
Kirk, 24, has been a reliable, although underutilized, pass-catcher for the Cardinals. Last season, he racked up 48 catches for 621 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.
“I think there’s no lack of motivation whatsoever from me,” Kirk said. “I know I have to come out and play my best football. I know there’s some doubters and people kind of counting me out, but I’m just ready to get out there and let my play speak for itself. I put all the work in that needs to be put in up to this point and, like I said, just ready to get out there and have my best season yet.”
Kirk will be a member of a receiving corps that should prove to be one of Arizona’s primary strengths in 2021. If head coach Kliff Kingsbury can continue to improve the roster over the next two months, the Cardinals will be a team to watch come December.