A lot has been said about the depth on the roster of the Arizona Cardinals this offseason. General manager Steve Keim has mentioned it. So has head coach Bruce Arians. While on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Keim talked about the potential for trading players who could otherwise be cut.
He spoke of trading "a player, or two, or four or five" at particular positions.
"I have to be active and make sure that I address that situation so we're not just releasing players and allowing players to pick them up," he said. "Hopefully we can be active and get some solid value for guys who can help other teams."
The question is what positions and what players could be a possibility.
First you have to look at the depth of the team.
They seem deep in three particular position groups -- offensive line, defensive line and safety.
The offensive line is tricky. We know the starters. The names Ted Larsen and Earl Watford have been thrown around as possible trade candidates, or even Bradley Sowell.
Watford wouldn't likely draw much attention for a trade unless he completely kills it in the preseason. After all, he has virtually no experience entering his third season and was unable to crack the starting lineup on offensive lines that were considered subpar at best.
Larsen seems to be the most likely trade candidate. The issue? You always want guys with experience on the bench. Larsen has started a bunch of games. You want that on your bench. Sowell is the only other guy on the bench with experience and his spot on the roster is suspect because the team drafted D.J. Humphries.
The only way it make sense to trade Larsen is if the team is really sold on Anthony Steen. Otherwise, who would be the backup center? We already know, according to Arians, Watford can't do it.
As for Sowell, while he was a starter in 2013, consider this -- how many former Cardinals offensive linemen find work elsewhere? The answer is almost zero. Paul Fanaika did this last offseason. We'll see how that works. He might stick. The other two -- Daryn Colledge and Eric Winston -- in the past couple of years have landed jobs, but they had been solid starters long before coming to Arizona. I honestly can't see anyone trading for Sowell.
There are a lot of players here. Matt Shaughnessy and Alameda Ta'amu stand out as the most likely possibilities. Both were huge contributors in 2013. Shaughnessy was key to the team's start to the season in run defense. His injury set the team back.
But both have a skill set that other teams could want -- run stopping.
Another factor -- Shaughnessy now has the highest cap number on the defensive line after Calais Campbell. His contract counts $2.775 million against the cap. They have plenty of veterans on the line and with a bunch of players there, Shaughnessy could be on the outside looking in, as strange as it might seem.
He seems like the most likely trade possibility.
Ta'amu has numbers issues. He is cheap, but he only plays one position and with recent comments by Arians saying you don't really want one-position guys on your D-line. The writing is on the wall. Ta'amu was dominant in 2013 before tearing his ACL. He was not a factor last year as he "ate himself out of a job," according to Arians. But a 3-4 team looking for a true nose tackle could make a move. And if undrafted rookie Xavier Williams is as good as the team thinks he is, then Ta'amu will end up outside the final 53.
If you believe Josh Mauro is a possibility, I just don't see it. Arizona claimed him off waivers and he had a brief look on the field last season, but it wasn't mind-blowing.
This seems like a reach, but Tony Jefferson could be a possibility. I highly doubt it, but he is perhaps the most valuable. He started games and showed he can play. However, at least right now, it looks like (barring injury) he will get squeezed for playing time with Rashad Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu and Deone Bucannon ahead of him.
Now, this only happens if one of the guys behind him, an undrafted guy, shows enough to be like Jefferson has been. That is the only way he gets moved, because if there is an injury, you don't want to have traded away your quality depth.
I just don't see a running back getting interest. None of them have shown enough to garner a trade -- even for a seventh rounder. The receiving corps isn't deep enough and other positions just don't make sense.
Keep in mind, no player the Cardinals trade will draw anything more than a fourth or a fifth round pick -- and even that is doubtful. But a conditional sixth or seventh rounder is worth moving a player who was going to be cut in the first place.
Are there trade possibilities? Yes. Will there be trades. That's likely only a maybe.