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Cards’ Suggested Trade Targets and Bausby Buzz

Denver Broncos v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Background: FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 18: Nkeal Harry #15 of the New England Patriots looks on while DeVante Bausby #41 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after a defensive stop in the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Trade Suggestions per USA Today:

Nate Davis of USA Today, in his recent article about what what moves each of the 32 NFL teams might want to make before Tuesday’s trading deadline, wrote the following about the Cardinals:

Arizona Cardinals (5-2): If it turns out J.J. Watt is in play, they’ve also got room to incorporate him into their salary structure – and imagine him paired with OLB Chandler Jones next year. (Though after losing WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houstonians probably couldn’t stomach any more dealings with Arizona.) But if the Cards do anything, they might be wiser to look for blocking help or – depending on the severity of RB Kenyan Drake’s injury – tailback depth, i.e. Todd Gurley or perhaps Duke Johnson.

Imagine that—-the Cardinals trade for DE J.J. Watt?

It certainly would signal to the coaches, players and fans that the Cardinals are “all-in” on making a run for the Lombardi.

Nate Davis’ caveat—-about Texans’ fans not be able to cope with losing their defensive icon to the Cardinals mere months after losing their offensive icon in the DeAndre Hopkins trade—-is certainly understandable.

However, if the Cardinals’ offer is the best that the Texans receive, who knows? Regardless of what team the Texans trade Watt to, their fans are going to be upset.

The biggest questions would be:

(1) What kind of compensation would the Cardinals have to offer?

(2) How could the Cardinals fit the remaining portion of Watt’s $15.5M salary under their tight salary cap?

(3) Would the Cardinals want to keep Watt in 2021 on his scheduled salary of $17.5M and can they afford both Watt and Chandler Jones ($20.83M cap hit in final year of his deal—-only $5.3M of it is guaranteed)

My guesstimates?

  1. The trade would take at least the Cardinals’ 2021 2nd round or 3rd Round pick and possibly a 2022 4th or 5th rounder.
  2. The Cardinals currently have an approximate $6M in cap space. To accommodate what would likely be half of Watt’s $15.5M ($7.525M), Steve Keim would have to restructure a contract or two. Or—-Keim could get creative and sign Watt to a 3 year deal, with a hefty signing bonus.
  3. If the Cardinals give up their 2nd or 3rd round pick, this would not be a half-season rental for J.J. Watt, it would mean that they intend to keep him for 2021 and possibly beyond. The Cardinals could save over $15M on their 2021 if they were to move on from Chandler Jones. While all indications are that the Cardinals love Chandler, his $20.83M 2021 cap hit on the last year of his deal might seem untenable at this point.

RB Todd Gurley

The $2.25M remaining on his 1 year deal with the Falcons is certainly affordable. He seems to be very happy playing at home in Atlanta, but because he is on a one year deal, if the Falcons would prefer to get some trade value for him, then perhaps they would be willing to trade him. Would the Cardinals be willing to offer their 2021 5th round pick so that they could resume a “thunder and lightning” combo of Gurley and Edmonds?

While the Cardinals hope to get Kenyan Drake back at some point this season, look at how many weeks RB Christian McCaffrey has been out with his high ankle sprain—-he hasn’t played in 6 weeks and is hoping to return next week. With the Cardinals having two games ahead versus the Rams, adding Gurley could give the Cardinals an added bonus, for one can imagine that Gurley would play with a sizable chip on his shoulder.

RB Duke Johnson

His 2020 contract is even more affordable with approximately $1.8M remaining. He has one more year on his deal with a cap figure of $5.12M in 2021, but none of it is guaranteed. Duke has been played sparingly this season, rushing for 18/54/3.0/0-TD and catching 10 passes for 77 yards (7.7 ave.). He’s still just 27 and has a career yards per carry average of 4.4 and receiving average of 9.2 and 11 TD catches. The Cardinals could probably acquire Duke for their 2021 7th round pick—-as he is an intriguing dual threat playmaker for their style of offense.

CB De’Vante Bausby

After the Broncos recently released him, a number of their fans have expressed their profound disappointment. Bausby has very good size at 6-2, 190 and elite speed (he ran a wind-aided 4.22 at his pro day 4 years ago, plus popped a 37” vertical jump). His PFF grades with the Broncos the past two seasons were 63.7 in 81 snaps this year, with 6 tackles, 3 pass breakups, giving up 26 yards on 2 catches and 0 TDs while incurring 0 penalties. In 2019, in 133 snaps his grade was 67.9 with a 72.3 coverage grade, giving up 9 catches (13 targets) for 81 yards (9.0 ave.) with 3 pass breakups, 0 TDs, while incurring 1 penalty.

Bausby led the short-lived AAF league in interceptions with 5. He has played for the Bears and was on the Eagles’ PS when they won the Super Bowl. Here is more info from Fansided:

https://predominantlyorange.com/2019/04/06/devante-bausby-can-resurrect-nfl-career-denver-broncos/

Bausby suffered a significant injury scare versus the Chargers while making a tackle on Chargers’ RB Austin Ekeler, when he took a direct helmet to helmet hit from his teammate LB Alexander Johnson. The hit knocked him out and for a short scary few minutes he said he did not feel any motion in his extremities. While the injury landed him on the season-ending IR, it was not career threatening.

Here are Bausby’s highlight from last season prior to the injury (check out his breaks on the ball):

Here are Bausby’s AAF Highlights: (check out his interceptions):

A few days ago there were rumors that Bausby had agreed to join the Cardinals’ practice squad. However, he was then offered a few 53 man roster spots from a handful of contenders. The Cardinals upped their ante and offered him a roster spot and according to Damon Talbot of Draft Diamonds, Bausby has agreed to sign with the Cardinals, although the team has not announced the signing yet.

https://www.nfldraftdiamonds.com/2020/10/devante-bausby/

During a recent interview, perhaps Vance Joseph gave a little hint of the team signing Bausby when he spoke about the Cardinals acquiring a young CB with “good future potential”.

Interesting fact about De’Vante Bausby—-one of his off-season workout partners is Isaiah Simmons.

How cool is that!

Talk about elite athletes and birds of a feather!

A Friendly Reminder From the Indianapolis Combine:

WR Julio Jones: 6-2 3/4”, 220, 4.39-40; 42” vertical

LB Isaiah Simmons: 6-3 5/8”, 238, 4.39-40, 39” vertical

Oh and as an added bonus to whet your imagination:

RB Khalfani Muhhammad

Here is the former Bronco and Cal RB the Cardinals just signed to their practice squad:

Imagine adding his speed to Kyler Murray’s in the backfield. With Muhhammad being only 5-7, this was the argument I was making before the draft about finding a way to draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire—-it’s hard to tackle what you can’t see. And how excited are you to see what Eno Benjamin and Johnathan Ward bring to the K-Raid as well?