For Green and Watt, in particular, it is obvious they are reinvigorated by this next chapter in their careers. Both were icons for the Bengals and Texans, respectively, and have arrived on a new team with new surroundings for the first time in a decade.
“I think it definitely creates a level of excitement, not only for our fanbase, but for those players, in particular,” Keim said. “Guys become a creature of habit, and they’re so used to being in one place for so long, that it almost creates a little bit of enthusiasm that maybe they wouldn’t have had at another team. I know both A.J. and J.J. are both really excited about this opportunity.”
Green said his first day in Tempe felt like a college recruiting visit.
“I felt wanted,” Green said. “I’d never been through this process. I didn’t know what to expect. Coming here, being greeted, looking at the facilities, it felt unbelievable.”
The vibe is optimistic right now, as it always tends to be in the offseason. The proof will come on the field this fall, and the veteran quintet is anxious to back up the talk with action.
“I’m here to dominate,” Watt said.
The Cardinals have a talented nucleus returning from a season ago, and the performances of quarterback Kyler Murray, wideout DeAndre Hopkins, outside linebacker Chandler Jones, safety Budda Baker and others will play a vital role in the team’s 2021 fortunes.
But if this team can make the leap to true contender status, the high-profile veteran newcomers seem integral to the cause.
“I most definitely think we can make a push,” Butler said. “Guys get older and things like that, but if you’re doing the right things with your body, you’re staying focused, you’re committed to the game, you’re committed to one goal and that’s winning – if everybody as that same mindset, that’s what we’re going to do.”