While Steve Keim reiterated again yesterday that CB Patrick Peterson “is here and under contract” and that he hopes Peterson “will retire as a Cardinal,” there may never be a better time to trade Peterson than right now.
Raise your hand if you believe that Patrick Peterson will retire as a Cardinal. That will only happen if the Cardinals rip up his current contract this year (or by this time next year when he is 30) and make him the highest paid CB in the NFL, which would mean at least $16-17M a year with the majority of it guaranteed.
In my opinion, Peterson has three strikes against him. First of all, he asked to be traded last year, saying he “desperately” wanted out. That already proved he could have one foot out the door.
Equally troubling is the fact that he creates a double standard on the defense by making embarrassing tackling efforts and basically asking his teammates and coaches to cover for him. He obviously believes he deserves special treatment, as if he’s the QB of the defense who gets to slide in the face of potential contact. There is no question that opponents know this because they make a consistent habit of running plays and screens to his side....and year after year, this strategy works.
Finally, he’s now disgruntled again a mere three months after publicly apologizing to Cardinals’ fans about his trade request and assuring them that he’s here to stay.
With the auspicious addition of CB Byron Murphy, who can step in and start from day one, it makes the potential for a Peterson trade all the more timely.
Trade 1: The Cardinals send CB Patrick Peterson to the Kansas City Chiefs for CB Kendall Fuller, C Austin Reiter and their 2020 2nd round draft pick.
Why the Cardinals make the trade: Fuller is one of the best nickel CBs in the NFL (72.4 PFF grade in 2018). Reiter played very well at center for 4 games last year (74.2 PFF grade in 2018) when Mitch Morse was out, and could compete for the starting center job in the K Raid. Adding a 2nd round pick in 2020 is icing on the cake. If the Chiefs want the Cardinals to add nickel CB Trumaine Brock to the deal, by all means do it.
Why the Chiefs make the trade: Their starting CBs right now are Bashaud Breeland (58.5) and Charvarius Ward (68.7) a young player they acquired in a trade from the Cowboys who made 30 tackles and 3 pass breakups (0 ints.) for the Chiefs in 13 games last year. Can you picture either of these CBs covering division rival WRs Antonio Brown, Keenan Allen and Emmanuel Sanders? By adding Peterson, they can have him man up on the best WR and move Ward into the slot. The Chiefs feel they have a decent shot at winning a Super Bowl and a splash move like this could help that cause.
Plan B: Peterson to the Broncos for CB Chris Harris (if the Cardinals and Harris can agree to a new contract).
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As much as one can admire the grit, tenacity and perseverance of veteran C A.Q. Shipley, the Cardinals have drafted centers in 3 of the past 4 years. With two centers (Mason Cole and Lamont Gaillard) drafted in the last two years, it doesn’t make sense to keep Shipley for another year. Plus, if the Cardinals can add another promising young center like Austin Reiter to the mix---and let’s not forget that UFA signee Max Garcia also has NFL experience at center---there is strong enough depth already.
Trade 2: The Cardinals send C A.Q. Shipley to the Oakland Raiders for RB DeAndre Washington
Why the Cardinals make the trade: DeAndre Washington had tremendous success in the K Raid at Texas Tech (3,114 yards at 5.6 ypc and 23 TDs rushing and 1,091 yards at 8.8 npc and 4 TDs receiving). He would be a strong option as RB2.
Why the Raiders make the trade: They are woefully thin depth-wise at center and guard. After drafting RB Josh Jacobs and already having RBs Isaiah Crowell and Jalen Richard, Washington, who is in the last year of his rookie contract, is now 4th on their depth chart.
Plan B: Shipley to the Buccaneers for DE Patrick O’Connor.
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In Christian Kirk, Andy isabella and T.J. Logan, the Cardinals already have a strong group of punt returners. Thus, Pharoh Cooper could garner strong trade interest from teams who are currently lacking a top end returner. It would not appear likely that Cooper will factor into the WR rotation, so by moving him, they could save a roster spot.
Trade 3: The Cardinals send WR/PR Pharoh Cooper to the Green Bay Packers for DT Montavius Adams.
Why the Cardinals make the trade: Montavius Adams can play both NT and 34 DE where the Cardinals could use added depth and talent, especially with Robert Nkemdiche likely on the PUP list until mid-season. Adams has two years remaining on his rookie deal, and if the Cardinals need to add another player in this deal maybe WR Chad Williams would make sense, seeing as the Packers’ talent at WR right now isn’t as deep as it was in prior years. Surprisingly, they did not draft a WR this year.
Why the Packers make the trade: They added DE Rashan Gary and DT Kingsley Keke in the draft to play behind Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark and have good enough depth on the defensive line to the point where adding a Pro Bowl quality punt returner would be very attractive, seeing as 36 year old S Tramon Williams is currently their best option. Plus, the Packers’ new head coach, Matt LaFleur, knows Cooper well from his OC days with the Rams.
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As for DT Robert Nkemdiche, it may be difficult to find a trade partner right now for him in light of his ACL rehab. But, if his rehab goes well and he is able to return before the trading deadline, perhaps a team like the Chargers, who saw first-hand last year how explosive Nkemdiche can be, would make a good offer. The Patriots might have interest by then as well.
What are your thoughts? Do these trades appeal to you? Do you have confidence that things can work out with Peterson? Are there other trades you would propose?