The Arizona Cardinals front office is preparing in case head coach Bruce Arians opts to retire at the end of the season, league sources said, something many of his peers believed was imminent at this time last year. Arians has not told the team he is retiring, but given his battles with cancer and his health scares in recent years, the team has discussed some contingencies in the event a coaching search is required.

Many close to Arians do not believe he will be back on the sidelines for 2018; he has denied the notion in the past and given no outward indication he is considering that now, but it's something team officials have discussed. As upwards of 10 teams will be looking for new coaches in January, there is a limited pool of top candidates, and teams cannot afford to be caught unprepared.

Arians is coveted by several media entities, and with the Cardinals potentially at a crossroads as a franchise and at the quarterback position, and entering what could be more of a rebuilding mode, getting a handle on the short- and long-term future will be imperative this offseason.

Arians has become the face of that franchise with his gregarious nature, quick wit with the media, and work turning Arizona into an annual playoff threat, but the team has stumbled the past two years with Carson Palmer injured. Arians has also overcome cancer, and the arduous hours and all-consuming nature of this job has led some to urge him to pursue other interests.