So today we discuss who has been the worst Arizona Cardinals player in the Super Bowl era. A SI.com article by Doug Farrar has who has been the worst player for each of the 32 teams.
However, it might not be named correctly. Farrar qualified this as a highly drafted player or one signed to a big free agent deal who started at least 16 games for the team and is (in almost all cases) no longer in the league.
For the Cardinals, he gives disappointing tackle Levi Brown as that guy.
Brown was selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2007 draft, and though he started every possible game (45 total) during his collegiate career for a major program, there were major questions about his worth at that pick altitude. Brown was known to be a powerful road-grading blocker, but not a smooth pass-protector. This proved to be very true when Brown hit the field for the Cardinals—he was a turnstile from the word go, and things didn't get much better. He allowed eight sacks in his rookie season, 11 in his second, nine in his third, 10 in his fourth... you get the picture. And this was when the Cardinals had Kurt Warner as their quarterback, with a quick-step, quick-release passing game. The mind reels when one considers how many takedowns Brown would have allowed in a seven-step system.
Brown did eventually play some quality football in the second half of the season, and the Cardinals re-signed him after first releasing him to save salary cap space. But he suffered a torn triceps that year, and allowed three sacks to Robert Quinn of the Rams in the first week of the 2013 season. He was traded to the Steelers in October 2013, released by Pittsburgh before the '14 season and that was that.
With the narrow definition Farrar used, Brown is a name that comes to mind. Quarterback Matt Leinart is another.
Because Farrar requires the player had to have started 16 games, Brown fits. There have been worse draft picks like Wendall Bryant, who was the 12th overall pick in the draft and only started nine games. He might be the worst draft pick ever by the Cardinals.
But when you look at Brown, he wasn't an awful player. He just was a bad fit at left tackle. He was a very, very good run blocker. His pass protection was subpar. Playing right tackle, he even earned a Pro Bowl alternate spot. And we saw what happened the year he got hurt -- who knew he was as valuable as he was?
This almost seems like piling on. He was a disappointing player. He wasn't the worst. But using the qualifications of this list, he almost has to be the guy.