It appears we can officially chalk Robert Nkemdiche up as another first round draft pick bust for Cardinals GM Steve Keim.
After the news broke on Wednesday of Nkemdiche’s arrest a couple of weeks back for speeding and driving on a suspended license, it seems inevitable at this point that the Cardinals will look to sever ties with the once high profile defensive tackle as soon as they can.
Nkemdiche, who is currently rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered last season, has been a shaky player at best during his time in Arizona. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, he has only played in 27 games and has, at times, looked completely lost on the field. He didn’t record his first sack until last season, where he had 4.5 for the year while starting in just six games.
Another issue has been Nkemdiche’s lack of ability to stay healthy during his tenure in the desert. From nagging toe injuries to the latest ACL injury, Nkemdiche has been anything but reliable after being picked in the first round in 2016.
It’s high time the Cardinals admit that they made a mistake and own up to it by releasing him as soon as they are able to. This latest arrest (which reportedly also had the police finding a white powdery substance consistent with cocaine) should be the final straw. He is the perfect trifecta of not being a healthy player, not being a good player and not being a good person in the community. Once his rehabilitation process is complete, the team can cut him loose.
It also officially adds another first round bust to the long list of Steve Keim misses. Michael Floyd, Jonathan Cooper, and Deone Bucannon never received second contracts from the Cardinals, while D.J. Humphries, Nkemdiche and perhaps Haason Reddick may not either. Josh Rosen, the first round pick from 2018, barely made it out of his rookie season before the Cardinals felt content with moving on from him.
The Cardinals also released a statement on Wednesday that was pretty boilerplate, concluding it by saying they will comment further at the appropriate time. suffice to say, rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury has certainly been dealt a fair share of offseason blunders to manage in his first year. Hopefully things start to get a bit easier for him from here...