The Arizona Cardinals played a decade of football that included some extreme highs and some terrible lows. Saying that the 2010s decade was all over the place, for the Cardinals, would be an understatement at the least. Their best years came in the middle of the decade when head coach Bruce Arians was at the helm. During his tenure, the Cardinals finished as high as 13-3 in 2015 and as low as 7-8-1 in 2016. It’s certainly been a mixed bag for the Cardinals since the departure of Arians in 2017. Let’s break down the best players of this decade, and take a look at the Arizona Cardinals 2010s All-Decade Team. This article will focus on the offense.
Arizona Cardinals 2010s All-Decade Team: Offense
Quarterback: Carson Palmer
The Cardinals started the decade in the midst of a quarterback carousel beginning with Derek Anderson, followed by brief stints with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. It wasn’t until 2013 when Carson Palmer was traded from the Oakland Raiders that the Cardinals finally found their guy. After a rocky start in 2013, Palmer bounced back in 2015 by leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record while also managing to nab a Pro Bowl selection. During his Pro Bowl season, Palmer managed to throw for over 4,600 yards while recording 35 touchdown passes to just 11 interceptions. The Cardinals finished first in the NFC West that year as well.
Running Back: David Johnson
David Johnson didn’t arrive in Arizona until the 2016 season, but he made one hell of an impact when he first started out. During the 2016 season, Johnson finished with over 1,200 rushing yards and 800 receiving yards. He also accumulated 16 rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns. While his career started off promising, injuries plagued the remainder of his time in Arizona, limiting him to just one Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro appearance. Even though he was in Arizona for five seasons, Johnson would only manage to play two full years.
Wide Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald
The no-brainer of the list. What more can be said about Larry Fitzgerald that hasn’t been said already? Fitzgerald has been nothing short of a model of consistency on and off the field. When Fitzgerald was in his prime, there was not a single hole in his game. He ran the entire route tree, could line up anywhere on the field, was notorious for having the best hands in the game, and was constantly lauded for his professionalism on and off the field. You could write an entire article, if not more, on the type of impact Fitzgerald had on the league and on the Cardinals.
Wide Receiver: John Brown
This is where things start to get tough for Arizona. The inconsistency of the Cardinals extended past just their record. After Larry Fitzgerald, it was hard to find a receiver that was consistent enough to be considered for an All-Decade team. John Brown makes this list due solely to the fact that he was in Arizona for four consecutive seasons and was productive during the rare occasions that he wasn’t injured. Brown’s best season came in 2015 when he recorded over 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. It is worth noting that Brown never once played a full season for the Cardinals.
Wide Receiver: Michael Floyd
The mixed bag at receiver continues for the Arizona Cardinals. Michael Floyd played for the Cardinals for four and a half seasons. Floyd’s best season came in 2013 when he recorded over 1,000 yards receiving and five touchdowns. He, like John Brown, was also plagued by injuries throughout his time in Arizona, playing in only one full season.
Tight End: Jermaine Gresham
Tight ends were never heavily featured in the Arizona Cardinals’ offense throughout the course of the decade. Whether it be due to scheme or lack of talent at the position, tight end was never something that the Cardinals were really known for. Their most impactful player at the position was Jermaine Gresham, mainly due to longevity alone. Gresham’s best years were in the early part of the decade when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals. Arriving in Arizona in 2015, and there until 2018, Gresham never finished a season with more than 400 yards and two touchdowns.
Left Tackle: Jared Veldheer
The offensive line has seemed like an area of weakness for the Cardinals forever and can still be argued to be true up to this very day. Jared Veldheer was the best of what can be considered the team’s Achilles heel throughout the course of the decade. Arriving in Arizona in 2014, Veldheer started at the tackle position for four seasons with the Cardinals. With that being said, it is worth noting that through the course of his first three seasons in Arizona, Veldheer only surrendered six total sacks, and consistently finished with a PFF graded above 77.
Left Guard: Mike Iupati
Mike Iupati played with the Cardinals for four seasons, arriving in 2015. Coming off three straight Pro Bowl seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Iupati started off strong with the Cardinals. He made yet another Pro Bowl in his first season in Arizona, allowing just three sacks and two penalties. Sadly though, Iupati was never able to string together consecutive stellar seasons once he joined the Cardinals.
Center: Lyle Sendlein
Lyle Sendlein was the starting center of the Cardinals from 2007 to 2015. Always an average center at best, Sendlein never once recorded a Pro Bowl or First-Team All-Pro nomination. Sometimes, though, consistency is the best thing you can ask for on the offensive line, and no one can argue that Sendlein was anything short of that.
Right Guard: Paul Fanaika
The right guard position was a revolving door for the Cardinals throughout the course of the decade. During this time period, Paul Fanaika was the only individual to start at the position in consecutive seasons for Arizona. He allowed seven sacks in 2013, tied for the fourth-most in the league, but bounced back strong the following season, allowing just one sack.
Right Tackle: Bobby Massie
Bobby Massie is the final piece of this abysmal All-Decade offensive line group. Massie was the right tackle in Arizona from 2012 to 2015. His best season came in 2014 when he finished with a PFF grade of 71. Sadly though, he still managed to allow seven sacks that season, which tied for sixth-most in the league.