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Cardinals Feeling The Urgency?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Just yesterday on the Red Rain Podcast, I was lamenting how typically slow the Cardinals are in filling their immediate personnel needs, akin at times to how slow the Cardinals’ coaches are to make weekly and in-game adjustments.

Yet, within an hour of taping the podcast, upon the breaking news that the Cardinals had traded for WR Robbie Anderson, I was delighted to tweet:

A few of the fans on ROTB, including myself, have been wanting the Cardinals to add the speedy Anderson, particularly because of his familiarity with Shawn Jefferson.

In 2019, Shawn Jefferson helped Robbie Anderson turn in a 52 catch season for 779 yards, for an impressive 15.0 average and long of 92 yards, plus 5 TDs.

Anderson parlayed that performance into his best season in 2020 having signed with the Carolina Panthers: 95 catches for 1,096 yards, 11.5 average, long of 75 yards and 3 TDs.

Because Anderson has already collected the $20.5M guaranteed money on his current 2 year $29M contract with the Panthers, his cap hit for the Cardinals for the remainder of the 2022 season is a mere $690K. Moreover, because the guaranteed money has already been paid, if the Cardinals wanted to move on from Anderson in 2023, the would not incur any dead cap money.

Should the Cardinals want to hold on to Anderson on his current contract for 2023, his cap hit would be $12M. He’s scheduled to become a UFA in 2024,

The Cardinals gave up a 2024 6th round pick and a 2025 7th round pick. It wouldn’t be surprising of the Cardinals had to give the Panthers two picks in order to outbid other WR needy teams like the Bucs, Cowboys, Packers and Rams.

It’s also possible that the Cardinals gave the Panthers the go-ahead to poach one of the Cardinals’ practice squad players, as the Panthers did in adding LB Chandler Wooten to their roster after the Anderson trade was completed.

Anderson plays with an edge. He is hungry for the football. While it isn’t clear what caused Robbie Anderson to engage in a heated exchange of words on the sideline with his WR coach this past Sunday, interim head coach Steve Wilks sent Anderson to the locker room and, right then and there, it was clear that Anderson, on Monday, would be traded to another team or released.

The fact that Shawn Jefferson has a good rapport with Robbie Anderson is one of the major reasons why the Cardinals made the deal —- that, and fearing that Marquise Brown could be lost for the season following the foot injury he suffered late in the 4th quarter versus the Seahawks —- the Cardinals acted quickly to seal the deal with Carolina.

What a relief not was to read this update from Ian Rapoport. Coincidentally, Robbie Anderson was acquired while Hollywood Brown was seeking a consultation with nationally renowned orthopedic expert, Dr. Robert Anderson.

The New WR Quartet:

A New and Different Sense of Urgency?

The quickness with which the Cardinals showed making the Robbie Anderson trade is reminiscent of the deal they made with the Eagles for TE Zach Ertz last year when Maxx Williams was injured. That urned out to be a very good deal for the Cardinals.

Now, let’s see if this kind of urgency can manifest in other deals over the next couple of weeks (trading deadline is November 1st) that can help to improve the team’s talent in other areas of need.

Last year, the Ertz trade was made a couple of weeks before the treading deadline — however, Steve Keim did make any other deals after that when the team, sitting atop the NFL rankings, desperately needed difference makers at DT and CB.

Of course, we all know what the Rams accomplished at the trading deadline last year.

Will the sense of urgency permeate the entire organization? Will the urgency manifest in a couple more trades and a more passionate, team-wide effort on the football field?

This time, does the sense urgency in the Cardinals’ facility feel a little different?

Will the coaches feel the urgency to correct this growing, wide-spread perception about their lack of specific game preparation?

Maybe a whole host of changes are in the works?

Heck, Kliff Kingsbury for the first time in four years said that he would consider handing the play calling duties over to one of the assistants if, as he put it, “it helps win games.” feels like things could start getting more than a little interesting in Glendale.