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Keim Stands Pat

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-Training Camp The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Disclaimer—-if you are a Patrick Peterson devotee—-this article is not for you.

While the 5-3 2018 NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams were predominantly sellers at the NFL trading deadline, the 3-4-1 Arizona Cardinals were not.

Think about that for a minute.


Shouldn’t the Cardinals’ top priority be in building for the long term?

Even Deion Sanders appeared to see the big picture for the Cardinals when he tweeted the following plea for a Patrick Peterson trade yesterday:

“A few teams have inquired about trading for @P2. I wish the @AZCardinalswould free @P2 so he could really experience winning before it’s all said and done. The cardinals are the worst team in its division & they are getting better but ain’t NOBODY has that kinda time. #Truth”

One would guess that Deion wasn’t buying Steve Keim’s insistence that there was no way the Cardinals were going to shop Patrick Peterson.

These PP21 trade promos from Deion are beyond annoying—-but—-the frustrating truth with Patrick Peterson is, to quote Billy Joel, “there’s someplace that he’d rather be.”

Peterson has had one foot out of the door since the trading deadline last year.

It was rumored on Twitter a couple of days ago that the Cardinals were receiving “considerable offers” for Peterson.

I would speculate that the vast majority of GMs around the league perceive Patrick Peterson as a unique physical talent, but, alas, as a self-aggrandizing diva.

Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise me if the trade interest in Peterson the past couple of weeks was tepid at best.

Divas are fast becoming the bane of the NFL.

Yesterday, on ESPN’s Trading Deadline Special, Chris Mortenson, in an unusually heated moment for him, asked the question, “just how good of a move was it for the Browns to trade (their #17, #95 2018 draft picks plus Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants) for WR Odell Beckham, Jr.?”

Look at what’s currently happening with ultra diva WR Antonio Brown.

While it is highly unlikely that Patrick Peterson would ever be issued a domestic violence accusation—-the fact is—-by virtue of his PED and masking agent violations, right now Peterson is damaged goods. One has to wonder what those violations will mean to Peterson’s most fervent goal—-vis-a-vis his Hall of Fame chances. And let’s just add that the performance Peterson put on tape last week versus the Saints isn’t going to do anything to promote his HOF cause, either.

Steve Keim said he would go pick up Peterson himself at 12:01 AM the morning Peterson’s six week suspension ended. A couple of days later when Keim said he didn’t understand why people keep asking him about a possible Peterson trade, Keim doubled down and adamantly declared that Patrick Peterson is “the best cornerback in the NFL.”

Therefore, it would appear that Steve Keim is pushing all of his chips to the middle of the table in the hope that the Cardinals’ woeful defense will turn around over the next eight games.

For a second year in a row, Keim has saddled the team’s rookie head coach with a woefully incompetent coordinator on the other side of the ball (from OC Mike McCoy to DC Vance Jospeh). The thinking was that when Peterson returned the repeated pass coverage failures would be solved—-but versus the Saints it was the same old story—-wide open receivers with no defenders within 5 yards—-and an array of soft zones that make for EASY BREESY pitches and catches—-even on key 3rd down conversions.

One would hope that Keim and/or Kliff Kingsbury would sit Vance Joseph down and ask how in the world his defense is so dreadfully lax in pass coverage——because—-the disparity in how the Cardinals’ receivers have to scrap and fight like crazy to get open, while the opponents’ receivers are roaming free and uncontested is infuriating—-Kingsbury should say to Jospeh how thankful he and Kyler Murray would be to see an opposing DC employ Vance Joseph’s loose coverage schemes. What a gift. What a freebie.

When Peterson returned, he came with copious notes and critiques to share with his teammates in the secondary, especially with rookie CB Byron Murphy. Vance Jospeh said he appreciated Peterson’s notes—-but why then has Murphy looked so out of sorts since Peterson has returned?

Remember when Brandon Williams was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft—-Patrick Peterson vowed to take Williams under his wing and tutor him into becoming the dynamic, young RCB the Cardinals have been looking for for years? How did that tutorial work out?

This week Peterson, who took credit for the win in New York because of what he called “The PP Effect,” is in Kyler Murray’s ears, telling Murray that the rookie QB is already the team’s “CEO” and that he should do more to start acting and talking like a CEO.

If I were Kliff Kingsbury, I wouldn’t want Patrick Peterson anywhere near my young QB. The fact is, Patrick Peterson and Kyler Murray are on totally opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to leadership. Peterson is very enthusiastic about promoting his own brand. When things break down on the field, he often points the fingers at his teammates. When things go right, as they did in New York, Peterson is apt to take the credit.

Kyler Murray, on the other hand, is a leader by example (a lot like Larry Fitzgerald)—-one who relishes in building strong and cooperative communication with his teammates. When Murray was recognized as the NFC Offensive Player of Week 6, Murray completely deflected the personal attention. He said that the recognition wasn’t that big of a deal to him personally, but, the best thing about the recognition—-it was a postitve acknowledgement of “the improvements we’ve made as an offense.”

To me—-in light of Keim’s doubling down on the current roster and on Patrick Peterson—-I think that if the defense continues to fail under Vance Jospeh and if Patrick Peterson does not justify Keim’s “best CB in the NFL” claim, then Keim should be removed as GM at the end of the season along with Jospeh as defensive coordinator—-for standing pat at a time when the building on a new culture of humble, accountable and conscientious diligence is imperative.

Patrick Peterson has been so pampered and coddled by the Cardinals that they have enabled his diva-like behavior. if Peterson were playing in New York, the media would be eating him up. New York sportswriters and pundits are not typically as star struck as those from smaller markets. But when the team’s GM is so star struck that he hails Peterson as “the best corner in the NFL,” the GM had better be right.