The offseason is here and the Arizona Cardinals have plenty of holes on their roster to fill.
Watching two NFC West foes in the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers battle it out in the NFC Championship game and seeing Rams become world champions must have been a knife-in-the-heart moment for Arizona.
The biggest reason why the Rams became Super Bowl Champions is because of the culmination of all the aggressive moves they have made over the last few years. They traded for Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey, and Matthew Stafford. They signed Odell Beckham Jr in the middle of the season. They mortgaged their future by sacrificing drafts picks for proven veterans to win now. And it all paid off in the end as the Rams hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
With that said, Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim has done his fair share of trades for players such as Zach Ertz, DeAndre Hopkins, and Chandler Jones. If second round picks can net elite talent like Hopkins and Jones, Keim should continue with this formula and get the team another top talent that can take the Cardinals to new heights. Even late round picks is enough to acquire talent like Ertz.
Though the players below are not all proven veterans, they are players that can either bolster their starting lineup or shore up some of the depth issues on their roster.
Let's have some fun.
Here are seven players for the Cardinals to target this offseason via trade, with some that are wildly absurd and unlikely:
Marquise Brown - Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens
Just like Kyler Murray with the Cardinals, Marquise Brown removed all Ravens-related pictures off his Instagram page. No way do I believe the rumors that Brown will retire from the NFL to pursue a streaming career on Twitch. However, I do believe that Brown is unhappy. There are two things that Murray and Brown have in common outside of the Instagram fiasco. Both played at the University of Oklahoma and both are entering the final year of their rookie contracts. If the Cardinals are interested in Brown, they would have to be willing to trade quite a bit considering he is coming off a 1000-yard season. Maybe these players want a reunion? Christian Kirk will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ WR Rondale Moore and a 2022 third-round pick for Ravens’ WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
Bradley Chubb - EDGE, Denver Broncos
Chubb was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and he started off his career on a high note with 12 sacks in his rookie season. After coaching changes and numerous injuries that forced him to miss 24 games over the last three seasons, his production was not the same with only 8.5 sacks in three years and no sacks at all in 2021. The Broncos picked up his fifth-year player option prior to last season that will be worth north of $13.9 million but that is hefty for an injury-prone veteran. The coaching staff under head coach Nathaniel Hackett and defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero might simply want to move on from the injury-prone veteran. They do have a need at inside linebacker with Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson headed to free agency. Cardinals need an edge rusher with Chandler Jones scheduled to be a free agent and Vance Joseph was Chubb’s head coach in 2018 during his lone double-digit sack season.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ LB Jordan Hicks for Broncos’ OLB Bradley Chubb and a 2022 sixth-round pick (included a pick because the large contract AZ would take in)
Cody Ford - Offensive Linemen, Buffalo Bills
Cody Ford was the 38th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. Since his selection, he has made 29 starts on the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line. His 2021 season was mainly a down year for him as he got benched in Week 3, allowing an alarming 12 pressures against the Washington Football Team (now Commanders). However, his versatility to play right tackle and both guard positions would make him a quality depth trade target for any team. With the social media drama surrounding Kyler Murray of late, trading for one of his friends from college would surely make him happy if he is not already. Ford is only 25 years old and Max Garcia is scheduled to be a free agent.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ 2022 sixth-round pick for Bills’ OL Cody Ford
N’Keal Harry - Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
At this point, it is fair to say that N’Keal Harry is a first-round bust. As the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft and considered one of the top wideouts in his class, he simply has not lived up to the hype and expectations he was given. In 33 career games, Harry had only 57 receptions, 598 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He has fallen out of favor in New England as he has fallen on their receiver depth chart behind Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Jakobi Meyers. Cardinals’ 2019 second-round pick Andy Isabella has not been much better with only 426 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 31 receptions in 36 games. Neither will be on their respective teams in 2023 and I know for a fact the Patriots had pre-draft interest in Isabella. Both are still young and in need of fresh starts.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ WR Andy Isabella for Patriots’ WR N’Keal Harry
Noah Igbinoghene - Cornerback, Miami Dolphins
Igbinoghene was buried on the depth chart behind Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Nik Needham and Justin Coleman despite being a first-round pick only a couple seasons ago. He dropped from 286 snaps in 2020 to 78 in 2021. The Auburn product simply has made no headway in moving up on the Dolphins’ cornerback chart and his future with the team seems even more murky now with a new head coach at the helm in Mike McDaniel. Igbinoghene is only 22 years old and has two more years left on his rookie contract. Maybe a change in scenery for him could do wonders for his career as a former first-round pick. The potential is there. It just has not been tapped yet and the Cardinals are in need of cornerbacks.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ 2022 six-round pick for Dolphins’ CB Noah Igbinoghene
CeeDee Lamb - Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Cardinals had the opportunity to reunite Kyler Murray with his favorite college target in CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 draft but opted to go with unicorn linebacker Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson. I still firmly believe Simmons will be a great, not good, linebacker for this Cardinals ball club. Of course having the benefit of hindsight is evident here in any "coulda-shoulda-woulda" between Arizona and Lamb now. If there is any chance the Cardinals can acquire Lamb this offseason, they must take it. A receiver duo of DeAndre Hopkins and CeeDee Lamb would set Kyler Murray up very well into the future. The Rams acquired All-Pro Jalen Ramsey for a couple first rounders and a day three pick. That's the price that could pry Lamb away from Dallas. Maybe or maybe not...
Trade Proposal: Cardinals' 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, and 2023 fourth-round pick for Cowboys' WR CeeDee Lamb
Calvin Ridley - Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
For a player that said he stepped away from the NFL to take care of his mental health, a trade for Ridley would come with risks and the Atlanta Falcons will not have much leverage in prying any team for a first-round pick as a result. To simply put it, maybe Ridley wants his time in Atlanta to end. In comes Steve Keim and his ability to acquire elite talent with only second-round picks such as Chandler Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. His $11.1 million cap hit is worth it if he can reach his 2020 All-Pro form. Ridley is only 27 years old and would give the Cardinals a legitimate playmaking No. 2 receiver opposite Hopkins. In a all-or-nothing year for Keim and Kliff Kingsbury as they enter the final year of their contracts, make the trade happen and watch the offense flourish.
Trade Proposal: Cardinals’ 2022 second-round pick for Falcons’ WR Calvin Ridley