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A Rebuttal to Dan Bickley’s Op-Ed

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a link to Dan Bickley’s latest op-ed on the Patrick Peterson saga. You may have your own reaction to it—-this is mine—-which I wrote in the comments section of his op-ed.

I usually appreciate your articles and your keen insights, Dan, but this one feels WAY off the mark. You are putting Patrick Peterson and Michael Bidwill on pedestals and hailing them as exemplars when both of them are conspicuously flawed.

Peterson leads the NFL in self-promotion---he acts likes he’s a team guy and even said so in his statement, when, in reality, he has let his teammates do the majority of the dirty work for the past 5-6 years. He’s the most talented punt returner on the planet---but when PP turns his mind off he goes 0-fer---as he has in punt returns since his rookie year---as he typically does with his frequently embarrassing tackling efforts (or lack thereof). Winning requires sacrifice---and PP wants to play in a tuxedo while everyone else does all the hitting.

As for Bidwill---he lacks the long-term vision to make the Cardinals a yearly contender. Every now and then the Cardinals become a flash in the pan---like they were with Kurt Warner. But Bidwill even managed to mess up the contract negotiations with Warner at a time when the Cardinals needed to cash in on rare momentum---it caused Warner to go to SF and meet with the 49ers---and even though Warner wound up signing a 2 year deal to stay in AZ, you could tell that his morale took a hit (he admitted so)---and then he took too many bone crushing hits that year which caused him to retire with a year left on his contract.

After Warner---there was a complete bottoming out. Amazingly, in those post Warner years the Cardinals avoided drafting a QBOF like it was the plague. The last couple of the Whisenhunt years were torturous.

Bidwill then hired Steve Keim as GM and Bruce Arians fell into their laps when they “took their time” to find a new HC. Keim didn’t draft a QBOF either. He traded for Carson Palmer but played him behind a porous offensive line made even weaker by BA’s penchant for minimum pass protections. Even though the season records for three years were good---all of what those records amounted to was a 1-2 playoff record in 5 years, including a first-class butt kicking by the Panthers and a house of cards collapse by the Cardinals in the 2015 NFCCG.

Again---no QBOF---while Arians became increasingly ill and outwardly toxic.

And now Bidwill and Keim again this year got beat to the punch by other teams in the head coaching hiring process---they pawn it off as being carefully diligent, when the reality is the franchise is regarded very poorly by players and coaches around the league. Arizona is not viewed as a hot landing spot---and why is that?

Steve Keim’s last 5 drafts have been a series of alarming misses on high draft picks, particularly with his 1st round draft picks. Steve Wilks was hired in large part to try to salvage the failing young talent on the team through a willingness to work with “different personalities.”

Fact is as well, that since Steve Keim has been GM---guess how many of his draft picks has he re-signed to 2nd long-term contracts? Whenever draftees sign their rookie contracts Micheal Bidwill always says, “I hope this is the first of many contracts to come.”

And yet---the only draftees Keim have re-signed to long-term deals are Tyrann Mathieu and David Johnson---in both cases with a year left on their contracts. Mathieu pocketed a cool $31M in 2 meh effort years and is now gone. Johnson has yet to look anything like his 2016 self.

The success of the Cardinals under Michael Bidwill has been like the sine curve---whenever it peaks, it takes a sharp turn downward until it hits rock bottom.

This latest episode from Patrick Peterson, a supposed captain of the team, was not something to laud the way you are doing---it was 100% selfish---and it came at a time when the Cardinals are most desperate for leadership. But instead, Peterson “desperately” wanted out.

Michael Bidwill saved the day by temporarily appeasing Peterson? That is laughable. The Saints traded for Eli Apple instead. The Patriots declined interest. The Jets were the only ones making a push---and as much as Peterson may like Todd Bowles, the Jets are 2-3 years from becoming a legit contender and by that time Bowles will likely be gone.

The latent truth is---Peterson didn’t get the kind of attention he and his agent thought he would---not from any of the 3 teams that the agent and Peterson’s buddies (McFadden, Sanders and Powers) were touting.

Peterson crawled back to the Cardinals because he had no other choice. His statement was a feigned mea culpa about being frustrated and it manifested how blind Peterson is to his own commitment.

What are the chances that Peterson stays with the Cardinals for two years on his current contract? How about Slim to None---and Slim just left Winslow.

This is going to get more and more ugly---it will be akin to the acrimonious Earl Thomas situation in Seattle.

That debacle in Seattle wound up with Thomas injured and flipping the bird to his own sideline. Peterson was there to see that in person. Well. in a symbolic sense, isn’t that’s what Patrick Peterson did to his own sideline this week?

And now he’s garnering exaltation and empathy from the local media? Wow---this sports town really has hit rock bottom.